Weather Watch: Why we only get this once in a blue moon

Many of you would have observed the gigantic full moon last week which was referred to in the media as the “blue moon’’.

By Theo Gkousarov, forecaster at MetDesk in Wendover
Wednesday, 5th August 2015, 9:30 am
Editorial image
Editorial image

Most calendar years have 12 full moons, usually with one occurring every month, as there are usually 12 lunar cycles.

However, with each year that passes, there is an outstanding 11 days at the end of the lunar cycles and, over the course of two or three years, these add up.

Eventually, these days add up sufficiently to encompass another full moon cycle and this effectively becomes an extra full moon.

This is what is referred to as the blue moon and, given its relative rarity, gives rise to the commonly-used phrase, “once in a blue moon”.

The Aylesbury Vale was under very privileged weather conditions last week when the “blue moon” occurred and therefore lots of people managed to view this spectacular phenomenon, sharing photographs on social media.

Lunar observers in the north of the country were left disappointed as it was unsettled with lots of cloud, showers or longer spells of rain.

Indeed, the summer so far across the northern half of the country has been exceptionally disappointing.

Back to Aylesbury, and it looks as if conditions will be mainly dry through tomorrow and Friday, with some sunshine and temperatures into the low 20s Celsius, although the odd shower cannot be ruled out.

Perhaps a greater risk of a few showers at the weekend but still a lot of dry weather.