Eclipse Entertainment TONIGHT

Okay, so back in February I attempted to predict whether the Wiarton Willy would see his shadow.

For the record, I failed miserably.

It's time for redemption, as I'm going to attempt to figure out if Vancouverites will be able to witness a glorious lunar eclipse late this evening. 

First, a short FAQ on tonight's lunar eclipse to get everyone up to speed:

1. What's a lunar eclipse? 

A: When the moon passes directly behind the earth, creating a shadow on the moon from the suns rays. I.e. When The Sun, Earth, and Moon are directly aligned with each other

Source. Total lunar eclipse occurs when The Moon falls into the Umbra (Earth's shadow)

Source. Total lunar eclipse occurs when The Moon falls into the Umbra (Earth's shadow)

2. What time will this event take place?

A:  Just before 11PM PST, with the total event lasting just over 3 hours

3. Is it visible to all Canadians?

A: Yes, BUT depending on cloud cover...  

4. What's a 'blood moon' and what does this have to do with tonight's event?

A: It's an informal non-scientific term given to the colour of the moon during a lunar eclipse. The hue, which is very dependent on the amount of fine particulates (pollution, aerosols) in your location. The moon is known to take on a reddish/copper hue during such eclipse events as the moon enters Earth's shadow

The Models

1. WRF-GFS- YES

  • Eclipse is nearly all visibile with clouds clearing shortly after 11PM, right through until after 2am
11PM cloud cover simulation

11PM cloud cover simulation

2AM cloud cover simulation

2AM cloud cover simulation

2. What about the Canadian model? (GEM-REG)

Side note: Environment Canada has a great space weather website which you can find right here. 

So, checking the regional Canadian model... It's also lookin' good for the lunar eclipse tonight.

3. HRRR- NO (eastern Vancouver Island Yes)

Unfortunately the HRRR model is showing nearly 100% cloud cover over the Lower Mainland (which doesn't show clearing until after 2AM, unlike the other models mentioned so far. Consider this model an outlier right now 

Unfortunately the HRRR model is showing nearly 100% cloud cover over the Lower Mainland (which doesn't show clearing until after 2AM, unlike the other models mentioned so far. Consider this model an outlier right now 

4. LAM-WEST- YES

So 3/4 computer models discusses and shown indicate that we'll be witnessing a beautiful eclipse later this evening Vancouver.

I'm throwing my faith behind these models and I'm confident that for most of the duration of the eclipse the moon will be visible tonight.

Talk to me on twitter tonight and tell me where you're viewing the eclipse from. Share your photos at @50shadesofVan

Happy moon-gazing.

#50shadesofVan