Cold weather alerts kick off today as ‘snow moon’ is set to surprise UK skygazers

As a 48-hour cold spell is expected to grip all of England, sky watchers hope to catch a glimpse of a so-called snow moon over the next three days.

A weather warning has been issued from Sunday 6 p.m. to Tuesday 6 p.mwith all regions facing cold nights and frosts.

According to the Met Office’s deputy chief forecaster, David Oliver, an area of ​​high pressure will “dominate” UK weather, with daytime temperatures returning to mid-range, normal for this time of year.

Experts from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office are also encouraging people to keep warm and look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.

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Despite the chilly temperatures, sky watchers are hoping for skies clear enough to see the snow moon, which arrives every February and will be visible from noon on Sunday.

What is a Snow Moon?

According to NASA, the second full moon of the year got its name — the snow moon — from tribes in Northeast America, who named it for the heavy snowfall the season normally receives.

It was also called the hunger moon because of the scarcity of food and the difficult hunting conditions of the month.

In addition to the full moon, the planets Mars, Jupiter and Venus are also visible in the night sky this year.

When is the snow moon expected in the UK?

According to NASA, the snow moon will peak at 6:28 p.m. GMT (1:29 p.m. EST) on Sunday. This means it will take place about two hours after the moon rises.

It will seem full for three days and ends on Tuesday.

When the moon is at full brightness, it is about 404,184.89 km from Earth and has a magnitude of -12.53, according to the BBC.

With many eager to see the moon and visible planets, Dr Agostinho Sousa, a consultant in public health medicine, said it’s “important to check in with family, friends and relatives who are more vulnerable to the cold weather.”

He advised individuals who have a pre-existing medical condition or who are over 65 to heat their homes to at least 18C.

If heating all rooms is not possible, the UKHSA recommends heating the living room during the day and the bedroom just before going to sleep.

Wearing several layers of thinner clothing also keeps people warmer than one thicker layer. Sufficient hot food and drink is also effective in keeping warm.

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