When is the snow moon and what does it mean? All you need to know as the February 2023 full moon looms

The snow moon is coming this February!

Full moon also known as Snow Moon sets behind Rocca Calascio castle in Calascio (AQ), Abruzzo, Italy, on February 17, 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

If you like seeing spectacular things in the sky, keep an eye out for February's snow moon.

One of the many wonders of winter among cold-weather lovers is will it snow in the UK in 2023? While sun seekers want to know when will it get warmer in the UK?

And as we glue ourselves to the daily weather updates, it seems we don't always need to watch the reports on the television or on our phones, but instead look into the night's sky to see what the moon tells us about the changing weather conditions.

When is the snow moon?

The snow moon is due be seen in the UK on Sunday, 5th February 2023, this is when the moon reaches its peak at 18.28 BST (1.30pm EST). At this time the moon will be located below the horizon so its advised that for anyone who wants to see the moon, they should look for it the night before or later on Sunday as it will then drift above the horizon in the east at around sunset and reach the highest point in the sky at around midnight. The snow moon lunar typically lasts until the last quarter on February 13th.

Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic and astrologer, told Goodto.com, "The Snow moon is the February full moon, peaking this year on 5th February. In keeping with the recent trend for following the Native American names for the full moons, the Snow moon takes its name from February being the snowiest month on average in the US."

Meanwhile Lesley Francis, Master Astrologer and the author of the Llewellyn Sun Sign book told us the the best time to see the snow moon, "The Snow Moon culminates at 5:30pm., making it highly visible in the night sky after the sun sets at 5:57pm." 

She added, "The Snow Moon happens every year when the Sun is in Aquarius and the Moon is Leo. Its effects vary from year to year depending on what other energies are in play symbolised by the rest of the planets. The essential promise of the Snow Moon is an opportunity to integrate the mind and the heart so you can open up new pathways to growth, creativity, play and joy. Every year offers you the chance to see what has flourished and what has not since the last Snow Moon."

snow moon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What does the snow moon mean?

The snow moon means exactly how it sounds, the moon that represents the typically heavy snowfall that is expected to take place in February. The name snow moon dates back to the 1760s, when Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited with the Naudowessie (Dakota), wrote that the name used for this period was the Snow Moon, “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.” 

Since then, The Old Farmer's Almanac use it to refer to the typical snowfall in North America at this time of the year, as according to data from the National Weather Service, on average, February is the snowiest month.

On it's website it warns, "A long-duration winter storm that has already impacted a large portion of the Nation with hazardous sleet and freezing rain from Texas to Tennessee is expected to continue through at least early Thursday."

You might have heard of it called other names such as Storm Moon and Hunger Moon - the latter refers to the difficulty hunters had under snowfall in catching food to eat.

Celebrity astrologist Inbaal explained, "It is also known as the Hungry moon, since the bad weather makes hunting much harder. It may be also known as the Bear moon or the Eagle moon."

Each full moon name is applied to the entire lunar month that it occurs, not just the full moon itself. That's why the snow moon runs until 13th February, when the last quarter leaves the sky.

You can watch a clip below that explains the snow moon below...

How to see the snow moon

Parkdean Resorts have given their top tips for budding astronomers hoping to catch a glimpse of the highly anticipated Snow Moon this February.

  1. Get up high! - The further up you are, the better your chance of a clear sky to see the stars, plus you'll be able to see low down to the horizon to watch the moon rise! Take a hike in your local area and explore the surroundings to find the perfect stargazing spot! The further you are away from light pollution the better chance you'll have of seeing the stars. Moons always rise in the east and set in the west - so follow this direction in your search.
  2. Turn off the lights - For those stargazing from the comfort of their homes, turning off the lights indoors can improve the visibility of the night sky, so long as you’re not afraid of the dark! Artificial light can make it harder to see stars in the sky so make sure wherever you are is as dark as possible.
  3. Choose a night with clear skies - Parkdean Resorts suggests choosing a night when clear skies are expected for the best chances of seeing the stars. Not only that, but planning the stargazing adventures for special celestial events such as the Buck Supermoon
  4. Research what you’re looking at - Enhance the stargazing experience and download Star Chart free on AR enabled Apple or Android devices. Star Chart allows you to point the camera at the night sky and will tell you exactly what is up there!
  5. Use the Time and Date website for the best chance of spotting the planets! Time and Date allows you to input your location, before generating information about when the planets are most visible! With lots of helpful information about what's in the universe, this is a great way to educate the family about the wonders of space. 

What should you do when there is a snow moon?

Astrologer Inbaal believes the full snow moon is a "great time for manifesting, so write down your goals for the month, and go outdoors to read them out under the full moon."

She added, "The full moon during Aquarius season is always the Leo full moon, since the moon sign is always opposite to the sun sign during the full moon. Leo is a proud and regal sign, and so this full moon is a time to draw attention to yourself and affect change."

And master astrologer Lesley agrees, she added, "In 2023, that energy is amplified. Be ready to kick off plans for massive change. If you choose to ignore that spark, that push, that insistent feeling of frustration that things always seem to stay the same, you invite an unexpected or perhaps volcanic event to shake your life to the core. Just know that change is what is needed now. Not the same old, same old. The truth is what you think keeps you safe and secure can be equally as problematic as stepping outside your comfort zone." 

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)