A Once In a Life Time Event

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

Simply put…On Tuesday the 21st, A Full Moon Occurs on the Winter Solstice with a Total Lunar Eclipse. This will never again occur in your lifetime. Awesome. 

Tuesday, The 21st of December promises to be quite an eventful day celestially speaking. It will be the first day of northern winter, when the full Cold Moon will pass almost dead-center through Earth’s shadow.

1st, The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am.  At that time, Earth’s shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the moon. It takes about an hour for the “bite” to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality starts at 02:41 am and lasts for 72 minutes. At 3:17 AM, the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying  the familiar shades of coppery red.

What makes this so special?

 The Earth is always casting a shadow, thanks to the Sun, but it’s very rare that the Moon even partially passes through it; it normally happens just once or twice a year. A total lunar eclipse can only occur at Full moon. So we’re not only getting the rare Total Lunar Eclipse this year, We’re also getting it on the Solstice!  Major Double Whammy Bonus!

 The winter Soltice officially begins at 6:38 PM Tuesday. The Winter Solstice brings the shortest day and longest night of the year. The tilt of the earth axis is the most directly away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere.

There are 24 hours of daylight south of the Antarctic Circle and 24 hours of darkness north of the Arctic Circle.  The sun’s rays are directly overhead along the Tropic of Capricorn

The last time we had a Total Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice? 1554. Wow. So enjoy this eclipse on the longest night of the year, for what’s likely to be the last opportunity you’ll ever have!

How about the weather? I think it will just OK unfortunately. It starts of clear Monday night…but clouds will be increasing overnight. Our storm will be deepening Southeast of Nova Scotia. Clouds will be backing into New England at that time with wrap around warm air advection snow showers for the Later Tuesday-Tuesday night time frame. Clouds may hinder viewing….but they just may hold off long enough! It will be close.

  • Longshot


    JimmyJames, I have been meaning to mention to you that I am actually a partial believer in your original winter forecast. Though it may sound strange, your forecast may have been correct — your timing is the only issue. (Though one could easily argue forecasting and timing are inter-connected.)

    You should go back and ask yourself this — if you took your entire winter forecast and started it on December 21st instead of December 1st, would it be correct?

  • longshot


    For the snow lovers in the crowd who are masochists and wish for an Xmas event, I have a gift for you.


    This is an exquisite gift from the Benchmark collection. Please take advantage of this now because gifts like these disappear quickly.

  • Bob

    Hi Joe Joyce Any chance of any snow whitening the ground before christmas?

  • Hadi

    FYI 12 z nam throws a shot of couple of inches of snow on the cape

  • Hadi

    More like 1-2 inches and maybe a tad more on the islands. i

  • Topkatt88

    Hope it stays clear long enough. :-)

  • tad

    here something and it is based on absolutely nothing but a hunch based on past events with similar storms and current synoptic analysis. we have not heard the end of this storm some how i think it will produce a snowy surprise in the end! time will tell if i come out as right?! but at least im actually forecasting now

  • Mike

    topkat you going to willards woods?

    • Topkatt88

      Yes I am going there sometime this afternoon with my son. Watching out for coyotes too!

  • mike

    coyotes very agressive last tree years,the liberal laws have made them much more confident around people,very dangerous if you encounter a pack of three or more than can attack

    • longshot

      Do they actually attack?

  • Topkatt88

    I’ll be ready. And I will let you know if I see any.

    Walked through the Stoneham woods last Saturday and didn’t see anything except chipmunks, squirrels, & a few birds.

  • plow ski

    Todd Gross also gave educational and interesting astrology facts during many of his forecasts. He is a real snow enthusiest. You never would hear him say “we dodged a bullet”, He never let his excitement for snow just be hype, he backed it up with pretty percise forecasting. I never did hear why he got fired, must of not been a good situation for no other Boston stations to pick him up

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