‘Blood moon’ not connected to Baguio’s coldest recorded temperature

January 22, 2019 - 5:05 PM
The "super blood wolf moon" is seen during a total lunar eclipse in Marseille, France, January 21, 2019. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

A forecaster from the state weather bureau corrected a local news report that erroneously attributed the temperature of Baguio City to the appearance of a blood moon.

Ariel Rojas noted that Rappler mistakenly related Baguio’s coldest temperature to the lunar phenomenon with an article titled “Blood moon ushers in coldest day in Baguio so far.”

The article noted that a blood moon was seen in the clear skies of the Summer Capital of the Philippines on the morning of January 22, 2019.

However, reports from international news outlets stated that the phenomenon was only visible from Europe, Africa and the Americas from January 20 to 22, 2019.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration observed that the morning of January 22 brought in the coldest temperature in Baguio City so far.

The temperature was recorded at 10.4 degrees Celsius at 5:00 a.m.

It was caused by the continuous northeast monsoon or the “Amihan” that began on October 2018 where a gradual cooling of surface air temperature is observed until around May or June 2019.

The drop in Baguio’s temperature is connected to the lunar eclipse, a phenomenon where the moon moves behind the Earth’s shadow and causes the moon to become dark.

It does not have any impact on the weather or the surface temperature.

How a blood moon occurs 

A blood moon is a total lunar eclipse where the moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow.

The minimal sunlight reaching the moon is refracted by the earth’s atmosphere, making the moon’s surface reddish in color, hence the name “blood moon.”

“This ominous-looking effect appears because the moon does not generate its own light, and what we normally see as moonlight is really reflected light from the sun,” National Geographic explained.

“While most of that sunlight is blocked during a total lunar eclipse, some of it gets bent and scattered as it filters through Earth’s atmosphere, so that only longer, redder wavelengths make it through,” it added.

The last time that a blood moon was witnessed in the Philippines was in July 2018.