Upcoming Lunar Eclipse
2014-04-13 16:33:25.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Meteorologist
The mainstream media and social media feeds are all abuzz about an upcoming ‘Blood Moon’ on Tuesday Morning (or Monday night for those of you who think ‘morning’ starts at sunrise). While a blood moon is being tossed around as an attention getter, in reality, the correct scientific terminology is simply a ‘lunar eclipse.’ A lunar eclipse is when the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth.
From a meteorological standpoint, studying the color of the moon during an eclipse is an interesting study in how much volcanic dust and other particulate matter is present in the Earth atmosphere at that particular time. But this is about all I know since this is not my or any of my coworkers specialty; most people that have knowledge in knowing what to look for have a Masters of PhD in Atmospheric Science, Climatology or other related fields. So, much like you, we will just be hopefully looking up and watching this eclipse in awe. But you may have noticed that I said ‘hopefully’ in that last sentence. I said this because the odds of us seeing it from the summit of Mount Washington, NH are slim to none – with low odds expected across most of New England. Why? Well, the weather of course (something I do know about)!
Today, the region will be left in the wake of a warm front with ample amounts of warm moist air pumping northward for Monday. As this is occurring, a strong cold front will be approaching from the west late Monday into Tuesday. This means clouds, clouds, and more clouds making a lunar eclipse viewing very unlikely. However, I know my science isn’t exact and there is always a sliver of hope, but if I were a betting man, I’d put all my money on ‘No.’ The good news though is this is the first of a Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses that will be visible from all of or parts of North America. So, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…in six month intervals.
A video explaining the Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses can be seen HERE.
If you prefer reading about the Tetrad, you can head HERE.
A PDF about the study of Volcanic Emissions affecting the color can be read HERE.
If the Northeast happens to be clear, you can learn everything you need to know to view it HERE.
Lastly, if New England is clouded over, you can watch it live HERE.
Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Meteorologist