Anticipation for supermoon dampened by rain, cloudy skies in Singapore

 A supermoon rises over the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol dome in Washington, DC on Nov 13, 2016.
A supermoon rises over the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol dome in Washington, DC on Nov 13, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Anticipation for a spectacular view of the supermoon on Monday (Nov 14) night has come to a halt on social media, as the threat of poor weather looms.

On Twitter, hopes of a visual treat of the supermoon have been dampened as cloudy conditions are expected for the rest of the day, according to forecasts on the National Environment Agency's website.

Singapore is in the midst of a rainy inter-monsoon, which could affect the view of the Moon.

Chances of catching the supermoon in its full glory are "quite slim", said Mr Albert Ho, president of The Astronomical Society of Singapore.

Mr Ho said the best time to catch the supermoon for "visual impact" is during the Moon rise at 6.46pm, or when it sets at 6.18am the next day.

Even if skies clear up late into the night, the Moon will already be high up in the sky and the effect of the supermoon will not be as apparent, he said.

But he added that enthusiasts will still have a chance to catch the supermoon on Tuesday. "The size of the Moon won't differ as much," he said. "Except it will rise later, about an hour or so."

The initial excitement of the supermoon had led Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to post on Facebook in the afternoon to ask his followers to share their shots of the Moon.

PM Lee made a reference to the popular sci-fi trilogy Star Wars, and said the Moon might have looked "a little larger and a brighter than usual" on Sunday (Nov 13) night as it was a supermoon.

However, he said he will not be able to catch a glimpse of the supermoon at its peak on Monday night. He will be on the way home from Semarang, where he had met with Indonesia President Joko Widodo for his first Leader's Retreat a day earlier.

While supermoons are not uncommon, the one on Nov 14 will be the closest to Earth - and biggest as seen from Earth - in 70 years since 1948.

It will rise in the east at 6.46pm and become a full moon at 9.52pm.

Under clear skies, the supermoon will appear up to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual, according to Nasa.