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February: Snow Moon

The February Full Moon is named after the snow on the ground. Some Native American tribes named this the Hunger Moon; others called it the Storm Moon.

Moon rising over snowy mountains.

A Full Moon above snow-covered mountains.

February's Full Moon is named after the snow covering the ground.

©iStockphoto.com/1255k

In ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on.

For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons, and many of these names are very similar or identical.

Full Moon Names

Today, we use many of these ancient month names as Full Moon names. A common explanation is that Colonial Americans adopted many of the Native American names and incorporated them into the modern calendar.

However, it seems that it is a combination of Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic month names which gave birth to the names commonly used for the Full Moon today.

The Snow Moon is the Full Moon in February, named after the snow on the ground. Some North American tribes named it the Hunger Moon due to the scarce food sources and hard hunting conditions during mid-winter, while others named it the Storm Moon. Some sources also call it Chaste Moon, although most attribute this name to March Full Moon.

About once every 19 years, February does not have a Full Moon, known as a Black Moon. In 2018, this was the case in most time zones. Instead, January and March have two Full Moons each, creating a double Blue Moon.

Is February the Snowiest Month?

On our climate pages, you can see which month is the coldest, warmest, wettest, and windiest in cities all over the world.

It is the cold, rising air that maximizes snowfall. The snowiest place in the United States is Paradise Ranger Station on Mount Rainier, WA, according to Alaska-based climatologist Dr. Brian Brettschneider who has studied 30 years of snowfall in the US. The snowiest incorporated city is Valdez, Alaska, while the snowiest place east of the Rockies is Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.

February is the record snow month in some areas of the US, including in New York City, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Louisville, Portland, Tahoe City, and Washington DC.

However, December and January hold the snowfall record in far more places, March and April in fewer places, and in some areas of Alaska, October and November statistically get the most snow.

Topics: Moon, February, Calendar, History, Seasons, Months

Snow Moon 2018

Snow Moon does not occur in 2018

Snow Moon 2019

Feb 19, 2019 at 10:53 am

Times for Snow Moon can vary by time zone. Dates are based on the local time in Washington DC. Change location

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Full Moon Names

  1. Traditional Full Moon Names
  2. Wolf Moon – January
  3. Snow Moon – February
  4. Worm Moon – March
  5. Pink Moon – April
  6. Flower Moon – May
  7. Strawberry Moon – June
  8. Buck Moon – July
  9. Sturgeon Moon – August
  10. Harvest Moon – September or October
  11. Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
  12. Hunter's Moon (Harvest) – October
  13. Beaver Moon – November
  14. Cold Moon – December

Moon Index

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