A total lunar eclipse will occur tonight (May 15) and if you are looking for the best weather conditions for the event, we suggest heading to the northern and central Great Plains where mostly clear skies will prevail throughout. of the celestial spectacle.
Elsewhere in the country, the weather will be problematic to varying degrees for the Lunar Eclipse, which is the first of 2022 and is also known as Super Flower Blood Moon of May. (That’s because it’s the Full Flower Moon, and it occurs when the Moon is closest to Earth or the month, making it a so-called Super Moon.)
If you find yourself with bad weather, you can watch the Super Flower Blood Moon eclipse online and enjoy full moon views from around the world where the sky may be clearer. The eclipse will begin at 10:28 p.m. EDT (02:28 GMT on May 16), reach its blood moon peak at 12:11 a.m. EDT (04:11 GMT) on May 16, then end at 1:55 a.m. EDT ( 05:55 GMT).
Related: What time is the Super Flower Blood Moon eclipse?
Super Flower Blood Moon Weather in the United States
Thanks to a cold front, the region most likely to be completely excluded from even a brief glimpse of tonight’s shady celestial drama on the moon will be around the Southern Great Lakes. This includes the major cities of Chicago and Detroit, and stretches southwest in a band encompassing much of Indiana, the southern and eastern half of Illinois, southeastern Missouri, and a large part of the state of Arkansas. There is also a slight risk of severe thunderstorms throughout this region.
Along the heavily populated Atlantic coast from southern Maine to the Florida peninsula, the weather will be at the mercy of convective clouds and showers.
The sun on Sunday afternoon will warm a humid and unstable atmosphere, creating cloud build-up, “pop-up” showers and thunderstorms. After sunset, the air will cool and the showers will lessen and cease. The cloudiness will dissipate slowly, but unfortunately may not be fast enough to allow views of the lunar eclipse. We will take into account the possibility of some occasional breaks for some places; so not a full shutout, but what would qualify as fair to poor conditions.
Related: 2022 Super Flower Blood Moon Stages Explained
Western states offer good weather for lunar eclipses
Most places west of the Mississippi should be fine for eclipse viewing, with a few exceptions: western parts of Washington and Oregon where widespread low cloud will prevail.
A narrow band of overcast skies will be present over northern and western Idaho where there may be some localized showers and thunderstorms, and one anomaly: partly to mostly cloudy skies over the normally cloudless southern region -western Arizona and a slice of southeastern California. . Would-be eclipse watchers located along California’s Pacific coast would be advised to head inland to avoid the marine layer that could overturn clouds from the ocean after dark .
The moon could be playing hide and seek with a band of medium to high cloudiness over parts of the central and southern Rockies and northern Texas.
Finally, on a somewhat positive note, there may be a swath of clear to partly cloudy skies extending south from western New York through the Ohio Valley.
Related: Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse 1st of 4 Super Moons?
Our weather map above shows the chances of clear skies for the eclipse, ranked on a three-point scale: good, fair, and poor.
Of course, we emphasize that our National Outlook is only a generalization – a “general look” at sky conditions from coast to coast. For a more detailed and localized outlook, we suggest checking the latest updated forecast with your local National Weather Service office. Here is the link to the National Weather Services Organization page that lists all weather service forecast offices across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Rim. Simply click on the office that serves your area to not only get the latest weather forecasts, but also access to local radar and satellite imagery.
If you’re clouded by tonight’s eclipse, you won’t have to wait long for a second chance. Our next opportunity to see another total lunar eclipse will come later this year during the morning hours of November 8.
We wish everyone good luck and clear skies!
If you’re hoping to photograph the moon, be sure to read our best cameras for astrophotography and our best lenses for astrophotography. Our guides on how to photograph a lunar eclipse, as well as how to photograph the moon with a camera, for some helpful tips for planning your lunar photo shoot.
Editor’s note: If you take a great lunar eclipse photo (or your own eclipse webcast) and want to share it with Space.com readers, please submit your photo(s), comments, and your name and location at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Rao is an instructor and guest speaker at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes on astronomy for natural history reviewthe Farmers Almanac and other publications. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.