What Will The Weather Be Like On Eclipse Day?

The darker the dot, the greater the chance of clouds during the time of maximum eclipse on August 21. Dots represent automated weather stations that reported cloud data and show the 10-year cloudiness average for August 21, 2001–2010. Map developed by CICS-NC in cooperation with NOAA NCEI, Deborah Riddle

Everyone hoping to see the eclipse all share one thought — will it be clear? Looking into weather trends from previous Augusts, the western half of the path stands a better chance of clear skies than the eastern, but it’s still too early to predict local circumstances with confidence. The long range forecast (low confidence) from the National Weather Service shows these trends:

West to east along the eclipse path

  • Fog along the coast will probably burn off in time to see totality.
  • Weather looks generally clear from the eastern half of Oregon through the middle of Nebraska.
  • Midday thunderstorms are a possibility from western Nebraska east to St. Louis.
  • Conditions improve from Southern Illinois across Tennessee.
  • Thunderstorms are a possibility for South Carolina.

For a more detailed outlook on trends, Jay Anderson and Jennifer West cove it all on Eclipsophile.

A small, low resolution section of the soon-to-be-activated hourly eclipse forecast NWS site. An overlay of the total eclipse path is shown. Credit: NWS

For a better look at detailed, extended forecasts for individual cities, go to Accuweather and type in the name of your town, then click enter. Next, click the Extended link for 5-day blocks of forecasts out to 90 days. The farther ahead you look, the more the accuracy drops, but these predictions will become more and more useful the closer we get to the 21st.

Teens on a Lake Superior beach in Duluth take pictures of themselves with the full moon last night. In less than 2 weeks, the moon will stand directly in front of the sun to create a total solar eclipse. Credit: Bob King

You can also check out Weatherstreet’s U.S. Cloud Cover Forecast for the Next 7 Days to get a general idea of cloud trends. For a much more detailed “eclipse forecast” you can’t do better than the National Weather Service’s Solar Eclipse Forecast site. This interactive map includes an overlay of the coast-to-coast band of totality. At the moment, it’s not providing forecasts, but starting Aug. 15,  you’ll be able to generate an hourly weather forecast graph for the eclipse for any location by clicking at the spot on the map. Cool! Bookmark it now in advance.

2 Responses

  1. Dave Gallant

    thanks for the weather links Bob. If I may ask, where are you going to view the eclipse? I’m travelling with the family to Grand Island, NB. There are about 80 RASC members from across Canada converging there. Should be a Grand time!

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