The Great American Eclipse – August 21, 2017
There will be more people looking up at the sky on Monday, August 21, 2017 than any other day in recent memory as a total solar eclipse will traverse the USA.
Totality gets started late morning along the Pacific Northwest coast (Oregon) and will move in an east to southeast direction cutting across portions of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Areas outside of totality will see a very impressive partial eclipse. This will be a once in a lifetime event for many along the path.
Of course, the weather will be a big factor in how good the viewing will be along the path. Cloud cover will be critical along with visibility. Haze, fog, low clouds and wildfire smoke are all going to be a concern on August 21.
In recent weeks, wildfire across the Pacific Northwest and portions of western Canada has resulted in smoky, hazy conditions in many areas of the western and north-central portion of the USA.
The map below shows current fire activity that is producing smoke. There is some concern that smoke and haze will reduce visibility, especially in portions of the Pacific Northwest and Rockies.
The most difficult weather forecasting problem for the eclipse will be cloud cover. While computer modeling is helpful, weather models have a very difficult time being able to accurately predict the extent of cloud cover.
Below is a forecast for cloud cover near the time of the eclipse on Monday August, 21.
You can see there are areas of clear skies predicted along the path with some areas of cloudiness. However, in the coming days you will likely see cloud forecasts change on a daily basis.
Hopefully there will be blue skies at your location or only a few clouds during the eclipse. Make sure you have eye protection no matter where on the eclipse path you will be.