When I got home from the late night news Sunday night, I looked up at the full moon and noticed what you see in the image at the right…..a lunar halo. Those are actually rather common occurrences and are due to ice crystals some 3-5 miles up in the sky which reflect the light from the moon in such a way as to create that 22 degree circle around the moon. By the way, the same thing can happen with the sun.
At any rate, to answer the question posed in the headline to this story, the weather folklore regarding this phenomenon goes like this: "Ring around the moon, rain coming soon". This often actually works as those high level cirrus clouds that cause the ring around the moon(22 degree lunar halo) will often precede a storm system that will bring us rain by as much as a day or two, sometimes more.
In this case, we will have to wait till Thursday and into early Friday for the rain that is forecast by last night's lunar halo, but at least we do have a decent shot at some moisture. We can certainly use it as it has been more than a month since our last widespread, good rainfall and several counties have already started issuing burn bans.
Also, winter officially arrives at 5:38PM Tuesday and we will be cooler than today, but still above normal. Wednesday will see near normal temperatures followed by a storm system that has the promise of some widespread rain and perhaps even some thunder on Thursday, ending during the morning hours of Friday. Much colder air will be arriving during the day Friday so look for falling temperatures by that afternoon. Also, the moisture will be moving out as the cold air moves in so no wintry precipitation is anticipated.
The Christmas Day forecast continues to look quite cold with morning lows in the 20s and daytime temperatures struggling to get out of the 30s under sunny skies and with a brisk northerly wind. Sunday will also be quite cold, but at least there are no travel problems around our neck of the woods expected through the Christmas weekend time period.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.