‘Supermoon,’ higher tides expected for weekend

Boaters in McClellanville enjoy a moonlight ride the night before last month’s “supermoon.” File/Paul Zoeller/Staff May 24, 2013

Paul Zoeller

Here comes the moon of the year. Bigger and brighter than the last.

The full moon on Saturday and Sunday will be at its closest point to Earth, its perigee, for all of 2013, making it look larger in the night sky. The next time the moon will be this close will be Aug. 10, 2014.

The closeness of the moon means higher tides, said Blair Holloway, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston.

“We are looking at evening high tides getting over 7 feet,” Holloway said.

Holloway said higher tides would persist from Saturday into Monday, with a possibility for “shallow coastal flooding.”

The evening high tides for last week averaged below 6 feet, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The moon is expected to turn full on Sunday around 7:32 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. For many skygazers, Saturday night’s moon should appear as big and bright as Sunday’s.

The world can expect the last of three 2013 supermoons July 22; the first one occurred May 25, according to Farmer’s Almanac. But this one is the biggest.

“The moon always looks larger, psychologically, when it’s near the horizon,” Citadel astronomy professor Saul Adelman said as a tip for those trying to catch a glimpse.

For viewing Saturday night, the moon will rise at 7:47 p.m. and the sun will set at about 8:30 p.m.

Adelman recommends going to view just before sunrise, about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, or around 8:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, although he warns that overcast weather is in the forecast and it can make viewing tricky.

Reach Nick Watson at 937-4810.