Cloud Cover And Storms Might Spoil Eclipse Viewing For Many

Eclipse fever is mounting, but it might deflate like a flan in a cupboard for some. The path of totality stretches from the west coast of Mexico all the way to Newfoundland. Millions already live on the path of totality, with many more expected to travel to the relatively thin – at most 200 kilometers (124 miles) wide – strip of darkness. Unfortunately, clouds and storms are predicted to make the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gloomier. 

Accuweather reports that cloud coverage is high risk in parts of East Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, with a medium risk elsewhere. It’s only in the East Coast states that the cloud coverage risk looks low. It might be good for people trying to see the event in Niagara and on the Great Lakes, or in Canada. In Mexico, the situation is mixed, with great variability from location to location.

“Most places in the vicinity of the path of totality will have to deal with some level of clouds, whether high or low. Some high clouds may streak across the Great Lakes during the 8th, reaching northwest Pennsylvania in the afternoon,” AccuWeather lead long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok said in an article about the current long-range prediction. “Another area AccuWeather forecasters are watching is southern California and southeast Arizona, where some clouds may develop from a system in that area.”

However, “This far out, any forecast of anything as specific as cloud cover is difficult to sort out, if not impossible,” Chris Buonanno, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Little Rock, told CNN.

There are several areas not on the path of totality that might have much better conditions, so you will be able to see a partial solar eclipse there. But use appropriate eyewear – sunglasses are not good enough. Only proper solar glasses, with certified filters, can protect your eyes. Eye safety is important. Only at totality can you look at the eclipse without glasses. Please wear appropriate eyewear before and after.

Totality will start on the west coast of Mexico just after noon local time. There, the path of totality will be about 200 kilometers (124 miles) across, shrinking to 160 kilometers (100 miles) by the time it gets to Newfoundland. Many major cities are on the path of totality including Dallas and Indianapolis. About 31 million people already living in the path of totality. And we hope that many of them will have clear skies next Monday.

There are many warnings issued about the eclipse, so please be smart about it. 

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