Moon Phases and Weather

From any location on the Earth, the Moon appears to be a circular disk which, at
any specific time, is illuminated to some degree by direct sunlight. Like the Earth, the
Moon is a sphere which is always half illuminated by the Sun, but as the Moon orbits the
Earth we get to see more or less of the illuminated half. During each lunar orbit (a lunar
month), we see the Moon’s appearance change from not visibly illuminated through
partially illuminated to fully illuminated, then back through partially illuminated to not
illuminated again. Although this cycle is a continuous process, there are eight distinct,
traditionally recognized stages, called phases. The phases designate both the degree to
which the Moon is illuminated and the geometric appearance of the illuminated part.
The phases of the moon are New Moon,Waxing Crescent,Waxing Moon (1st
Quarter),Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous,and Waning Crescent (Last
Quarter). These moon phases often affect the weather. During these phases, there are
certain weather conditions that are likely to occur. The best chance for a fine day is
before any moon phase day, at the New Moon, and a few days before the Full Moon. The
chance of rain can be viewed as the relative weather instability. Rain occurs most
frequently in the week between the New Moon and 1st Quarter and the week between Full
Moon and Last Quarter. This is partly due to the moon phases; effects on tides. Although
the chance of rain just before the Full Moon is very low, the days could be overcast and
cooler. The days before the 1st Quarter and the Last Quarter should be warmer than the
days before the New Moon or Full Moon.

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