Friday, September 16, 2016

Spectacular Harvest Moon Friday night in Montreal

The full Harvest Moon rises over the St. Lawrence Seaway in September 2015. (ValleyWeather Photo)

Another chilly morning greeted early risers on Friday, as temperatures settled into the middle single digits across southern Quebec, 6C (43F) here on L'Ile Perrot. Some locations across the Adirondacks and Laurentians dropped very close to the freezing point, with scattered frost reported. We can expect another sunny day, with seasonable temperatures of 22C (72F) here in Montreal. The weekend is looking unsettled, as a moisture-laden frontal system approaches Quebec form the Great Lakes. We can expect increasing clouds Saturday, followed by showers and thunderstorms through Sunday. Temperatures will be rather mild, with highs in the middle 20s and lows in the teens. Winds will be gusty both days this weekend.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox. Fall arrives on September 22 at 10:21a.m. ET, making Friday night's full moon this years harvest moon. The Harvest Moon has always been the biggest, brightest and earliest-rising full moon in the sky all year long, appearing shortly after sunset. Through the year's, farmers have relied on that moonlight to lengthen the short work days of late summer and early fall, allowing them to continue with the harvest late into the night.

This year, some will be treated to an additional celestial show. The full Harvest Moon will also feature a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. While not as spectacular as the full lunar eclipse in September 2015, it should still be a sight to see. The moon will take on a spooky glazed look as it passes through the Earth's shadow. While conditions will be clear in eastern Canada, the eclipse happens early in the day and will not be visible here in Montreal. The full moon rises at 7:12 p.m. in Montreal. The eclipse will be visible across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Western Pacific. It will last 3 hours and 59 minutes, reaching its peak at 18:54 UTC (2:54 p.m. in Montreal).

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