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.
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.