Science News

A Full Moon, Not Snow, Will Set The Tone For Christmas Day

Image via Pixabay

If you’re dreaming about a white Christmas, you probably won’t get it this year. Thanks to the strongest El Niño on record, warm air has ushered in across most of the U.S. leading to well above average temperatures and a distinct snow drought that appears to be in full hold as Christmas approaches. This year, however, a rare event will be occurring on Christmas Day, as a full moon coincides with the holiday for the first time in 38 years.

The last time a full moon fell on Christmas was in 1977, making the event the first anyone has seen in the new century. The Weather Channel reports that residents in the U.S. will have the best view of the moon on Christmas Eve — perfect for sky watchers looking to track Santa’s sleigh in the skies — while those in Europe can enjoy bright night skies following Christmas Day.

The moon will reach its peak size at 6:11 AM E.T. on December 25 according to NASA, and those who miss it won’t see another on Christmas Day until the year 2034. During December, the Moon has a high trajectory overhead, so unless you catch the Moon as it comes over the horizon, it should be clearly seen looking up — barring any cloud cover.

In the days leading up to Christmas, record warmth is expected across most of the central and eastern U.S. AccuWeather describes the predicted temperatures as “October like”, with many locations 20 to 30 degrees above where they should be at this time of year. The pattern was well-predicted by meteorologists who identified a strong El Niño developing during the Fall, which is generally characterized by warmth across the east and stormy conditions in the west.

In 1998, a strong El Niño was responsible for an almost entirely snowless winter in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, while Boston recorded a mere 10 inches for the season — well below their annual average of 43.5 inches.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.