According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Snow Moon reaches peak illumination on early Saturday morning. Don't miss out on your Moon gazing meditation.
For the best view of this Moon, look for it on the night of Friday, February 26; it will drift above the horizon in the east around sunset and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. See when the Moon will be visible in your area.
The Almanac also explains all the Full Moon names and how they proceed from various origins, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources.
Why is it called a Snow Moon?
According to data from the National Weather Service, February’s full Moon is called a Snow Moon because of the traditional heavy snowfall during that month, which is historically known as the United States’ snowiest month.
“Groundhog found fog. New snows and blue toes. Fine and dandy for Valentine candy. Snow spittin’; if you’re not mitten-smitten, you’ll be frostbitten! By jing-y feels spring-y.”
― The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Poets and novelists have depicted the harshness of winter during those freezing February days and nights:
“February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.”
― Anna Quindlen
“It is growing cold. Winter is putting footsteps in the meadow. What whiteness boasts that sun that comes into this wood! One would say milk-colored maidens are dancing on the petals of orchids. How coldly burns our sun! One would say its rays of light are shards of snow, one imagines the sun lives upon a snow-crested peak on this day. One would say she is a woman who wears a gown of winter frost that blinds the eyes. Helplessness has weakened me. Wandering has wearied my legs.”
― Roman Payne
Moon phases for February 2021
All dates and times listed below are Eastern Standard Time.
- Last Quarter: February 4, 12:38 P.M.
- New Moon: February 11, 2:08 P.M.
- First Quarter: February 19, 1:49 P.M.
- Full Moon: February 27, 3:19 A.M.
Nasa offers here a summary of celestial events (with angles and times based on the location of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC). The agency explains how “the next full Moon will be early Saturday morning, February 27, 2021, at 3:17 AM EST. The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Thursday evening, February 25, through Sunday morning, February 28, 2021.” The March 25 Worm Moon will be on Sunday afternoon, at 2:48 PM EDT The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from early Saturday morning into early Tuesday morning.
Did you know that the Moon’s diameter (2,160 miles) is less than the United States' width (approximately 3,000 miles)?