When to see the full “Strawberry Moon” and the history behind it

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Each month of the calendar year has its own special name for the full moons that rise and fall in the night sky. Every month typically has one full moon since it takes the moon 29 and a half days to complete a full cycle from new moon to full moon.

The full moon in June is known as the Strawberry Moon, and is also a Supermoon. This means that the moon will appear slightly larger in the night sky due to it being closer to earth. This “strawberry” full moon is typically the last full moon of spring, or the first of summer depending on what day it lands on.


The Strawberry moon name has many origins, but is named for the time of year when wild strawberries of summer begin to ripen. Other names include the Rose Moon, Hot moon, and Mead Moon originating from Native American tribes who would name the months after certain aspects they associated the seasons with. This name has also been used by Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota tribes to mark the time of year where strawberries are ready to be gathered.

Types of wild strawberries that are native to North America include the Virginia strawberry, A.K.A. the mountain strawberry, or common strawberry.

Image courtesy: gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

When can I see the June full moon?

On Thursday, June 24th at 2:39 P.M. the full, strawberry moon will reach its peak in the southeast sky, but won’t be visible until later on in the evening after sunset in Rochester and Western New York.

Will the moon look like a strawberry?

Sadly, that answer is definitely not. It might take on a yellowish hue depending on the conditions in the atmosphere that night, but it should look like a typical full moon taking on a slightly larger, golden hued appearance.

Did you know? When a year has 13 full moons instead of 12, meaning one month had 2 full moons, they call it a blue moon. It’s a rare occurrence that occurs every 2 or 3 years, and happens because of the fact that each month doesn’t contain the same amount of days to fit the moon’s full cycle. Some months have less than 29 days and some have a few more. Therefore, once “in a blue moon” you get that overlap of days where 2 full moons occur in one month.

Will the weather cooperate to see this full moon? One model says yes, and another model says no. It appears like a 50/50 shot depending on where this frontal boundary decides to set up and when. Other models such as the NAM suggest clouds with peaks of sky in between, so there’s a chance you’ll be able to sneak a peak at the full moon this month.

For more information and updates about the forecast click HERE.

~Meteorologist Christine Gregory

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