I don’t know if the January full moon is actually called the Cold Moon or not, but it certainly should be. Especially this year…. but I’ll talk more about that in a bit. First off…. full moon! My brand spanking new 2018 calendar I just bought today says it actually falls on the 2nd, but that goes by UTC which we here in the Western Hemisphere laugh at… and I’m pretty sure that moon is full (OK, maybe the upper right corner is a tad flat). I noticed its light beaming off the neighbor’s truck yesterday evening and braved the frigid air to take a couple shots of it. What you see above is the only one of those pictures that came out even reasonably well… and at that, it still only looks good in a thumbnail…
I noticed that with how early the full moon is this month that we have a second (blue) full moon at the end of January. That sets up the rare full moonless February that, per the usually reliable 19 year lunar cycle, last happened in 1999. It also means March will have two full moons as well…. so that old phrase “once in a blue moon” doesn’t mean jack shit in 2018.
But the fact that the full moon was unobscured is troubling since clear skies means lots of radiational cooling, and is why it’s expected to get down to about five below zero (F, of course) before sunrise this morning! Brrrrrrrr!!!!
Even that 24 in the picture is a mirage since the sun shines directly onto my thermometer’s sensor when it’s at its low winter angle mid morning. It was really in the single digits all day long, and is going to be on the wrong side of zero by the time this post goes live. If you’re in Canada, you can freely laugh… but negative temps are pretty extreme for where I live. We can usually go a couple winters in a row without ever feeling that kind of cold air… and since we definitely didn’t drop this far into the freezer last winter, I guess we were due for the Arctic icebox.