What better way to welcome the onset of the spookiest season than with a full moon on Friday the 13th?
This year’s Harvest Moon — the full moon closest to the fall equinox — will fall on Friday the 13th for those of us in the Western United States. That’s relatively rare, happening just once every 20 years on average, according to the Farmers’ Almanac.
The moon will also appear the smallest it does all year because it will be at the farthest point from Earth in its orbit this month. That makes it a “micro” moon, basically the opposite of the “super” full moons we saw at the beginning of the year.
And yet, as is often the case with sky-viewing in our area, all of this comes with a caveat.
If you’re in the Puget Sound region, there’s a significant chance that rain clouds will block your view of this phenomenon Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.
We may just have to check it out Wednesday night and remember that image on Friday.
“It looks like there may be some breaks tonight,” meteorologist Steve Reedy said Wednesday morning, “but tomorrow night and Friday night look like a wash, both literally and figuratively.”
Once the ridge affecting the region on Wednesday and Thursday exits, an upper-level system right behind it will bring cloudy skies and periods of rain from Thursday night and into the weekend, he said.
The more superstitious among us might convince themselves they can sense this celestial event on Friday the 13th anyway. It’s such a common belief that Scientific American published an article in 2009 examining whether a full moon evokes “strange behavior.”
The article explains that Greek philosophers and Roman historians “suggested that the brain was the ‘moistest’ organ in the body and thereby most susceptible to the pernicious influences of the moon, which triggers the tides.”
No shade on the Greeks and Romans, but you’ll probably have to wait until Halloween to see a werewolf.