On the night of May 25-27, observers in Oceania, Hawaii, eastern Asia, and Antarctica will see a lunar eclipse that coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth — making it a “supermoon” eclipse that will turn the moon reddish — also known as a “blood moon.” (The dates of this eclipse span two days because the area it will be visible spans the international date line). This is the only Total Lunar Eclipse of 2021 so don’t miss it and read on for details…
Lunar eclipses occur when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth as the sun. Usually, we see a full moon when this happens, but every so often the moon enters the Earth’s shadow, resulting in an eclipse. This doesn’t happen every full moon because the plane of the moon’s orbit is tilted about 5 degrees from the plane of the Earth’s orbit, and the moon “misses” the shadow of the Earth.
Unlike a solar eclipse, which is only visible along a narrow track, lunar eclipses are visible from the entire night side of the Earth; this entire eclipse takes about five hours from start to finish. The timing depends a lot on what time zone you are in, relative to what is called Universal Coordinated Time (effectively the hour in Greenwich, England). In Asia, the eclipse occurs near the moonrise in the evening. On the west coast of the Americas, the eclipse happens in the early morning hours, near moonset. The best viewing will be in between those two extremes: Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, the islands of the South Pacific, and southwestern Alaska.
As for us in the Western United States, this eclipse peaks at 4:18 am Pacific Time on May 26, 2021, a Wednesday. The Moon will be very low in the Western skies near the horizon so we need to hope clouds will not be such an issue. Typically in Southern California, 28% of the time since the year 2000 had clouds during that time and in Arizona around 12%. This year however has a number of obstacles, which puts the chance of upper-level high clouds in the area during that time. So fingers crossed and set the date on your calendars … PDT/MDT is 4:18 am on Wednesday, May 26, 2021
SUMMER MONSOON: I will not go too much into this, but as I said last Summer the reason for my prediction of fewer monsoon events was because of the growing strong La Nina, which is what should have followed into the winter season forecast as well. So with that being said, the La Nina fading would result in more Eastern Pacific Hurricanes, which would up the moisture profiles in the Desert Southwest, including Arizona, and bring us a stronger monsoon flow. This is what I will be monitoring. However, if the La Nina fails to diminish, it’ll be another dry period again. But, the chance of it diminishing is higher than not so my final forecast may reflect what I already stated in this paragraph.
There you have it, a seesaw pattern to come and a developing monsoon season …
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