Full 'Strawberry Moon' welcomes first day of summer

June's full Moon is unique this year because it will rise a day after the official start of summer and be the lowest full Moon of the year.

With the scorching temperatures across the U.S., it's already felt like summer for weeks, and if you ask a meteorologist, it's been summer since June 1. However, the official start of astronomical summer begins with the summer solstice, which happens every year between June 20 and 22. 

This year, the summer solstice falls on Thursday, June 20, at 4:51 p.m. ET when the Tropic of Cancer is aligned directly with the Sun. The very next night, on Friday, June 21, the Strawberry Moon will rise at 9:08 p.m. ET. 

According to NASA, June's full Moon will be the lowest of the year, reaching only 21.9 degrees above the southern horizon after midnight on Saturday. This happens because as the full Moon reaches its peak illumination, the Sun is at its highest of the year. For some places within the Arctic Circle, the Moon won't make it above the horizon. 



FILE - The full Strawberry Moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty before sunrise on June 4, 2023, in New York City.

The low position should make the Strawberry Moon appear larger than other full Moons but not like a Supermoon, which happens when the Moon is closer in its orbit to Earth during a full Moon. 

The Moon will appear full and bright beginning on Thursday and for about three days after. 

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, June's full Moon gets its name from North American Indian tribes, including the Ojibwe, Dakota and Lakota for the time when strawberries are ripe to be picked. The Moon is also known as Blooming Moon, Green Corn Moon and Hoer Moon.

Full Moon forecast

Friday night's sky-gazing forecast includes some cloud cover for parts of the Plains, Northeast and South Florida.

As the tropics get going, for the busy hurricane season forecast this year, states along the Gulf of Mexico, including Texas, could be facing their first tropical system of 2024, which won't help with sky-gazing this week. 

Meanwhile, wildfire season is in full swing for the Southwest and California, sending smoke throughout the region. Smoke will continue to obscure views of the night sky as massive wildfires continue to burn. 


The cloud cover forecast for June's Strawberry full Moon on June 21. (FOX Weather)

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