ECLIPSE, CLOUDS, AND RAIN CHANCES...

August 20, 2017

Did ya know there's a solar eclipse that is going to happen on Monday? Of course ya do! It's being called the Great American Eclipse because a total solar eclipse will go coast to coast across the U.S. for the first time in nearly a century!

The last total solar eclipse that happened in the United States was back in 1979. Here's the coverage by CBS from 38 years ago:

 The attention is shifting to the weather and where there will be clear skies and idea viewing along the path of totality this coming Monday. Many will be travelling to see this phenomenon, the total eclipse, which will only last a few minutes. Here's the cloud forecast from two short range model and one long range model along with the path of totality traced out: 

 The blue indicates more cloud cover while white is clear to mostly clear skies. The are some areas in the path of the total eclipse where there could be pretty cloudy skies. If the clouds are scattered enough though it will be possible to see the eclipse. 

Even though we're not in the path of totally across *all* of the Midwest - it still will be quite the show. There are still some uncertainties on where and when it will rain on Monday. 

Here's the simulated radar on the GFS model during the peak of the eclipse (around 1 pm):
 

 The NAM:

 

The WRF:

The chance for showers and storms is associated with a slow moving cold front. Models are starting to slow the front down and bringing in the higher chances for storms later on in the afternoon and evening on Monday. However, clouds could still be in the picture.

 

The NAM and WRF are short range models and *typically* more reliable at this range. Both of them have backed off on the coverage of the rain, but still have some decent cloud cover around in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. I posted this in a previous blog but I wanted to post it again about what clouds mean during an eclipse - this is from eclipse2017.org:

One thing mentioned above is the temperature drop. There will be a temperature drop experienced across *all* of the U.S. during the eclipse, but the most dramatic will be in the path. In the path of totality, temperatures could drop as much as 25 degrees or more. In parts of Illinois that may happen.

 Here's a look at the National Weather Service forecast in Carbondale, Illinois where you can see the drop on Monday around 1 pm:

If clouds do happen to get in the way, it will still be an incredible experience once the Moon covers the Sun.

As you saw in the models above, there are still some differences in the models around the Midwest in terms of cloud cover and rainfall. Many people will be chasing clear skies on Monday and if you do plan on watching the eclipse make sure to have the proper eye wear and enjoy the show!

 

RK

 

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© 2019 Terry Swails