One week out, here's a detailed weather report.
We are now just one week away from the great North American solar eclipse. And while eclipse spotters are well prepared with flights booked, hotels and campsites sold out, and proper glasses in hand, there is one thing that’s totally out of their control: the weather.
To help find the perfect location in both the center of the eclipse’s totality and in what will likely be a clear weather destination, University of Idaho scientist Luigi Boschetti worked with PhD student Andrea Melchiorre to create a map outlining the places with the highest probability of clear skies in the continental United States based on data from the last 16 years of daily satellite observations.
“There have been many maps created to document the path of the eclipse through the United States and the world,” Boschetti said in a statement. “However, this map is unique because we have added information on the probability of clear skies – meaning how well you will actually be able to see the eclipse from where you are located in the U.S.”
According to the University of Idaho, the data shows that there’s a high probability of favorable viewing conditions in the western U.S. However, the view of the eclipse will decline as it heads east.
As NASA further explained, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming have the best chances of seeing clear skies next Monday, as the Eastern portion of the country will likely see cloudier conditions thanks in part to the weather system known as the Bermuda High, which stirs up warmer, humid air over the south east.
So where should you position yourself to have the greatest odds of seeing the eclipse? According to the map, Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Lincoln, Nebraska are the best big cities for viewing the celestial event.
But fortunately for eclipse viewers everywhere, AccuWeather is also reporting clear conditions across most of the United States.
“A spotty thunderstorm could bring localized clouds, but most of the day should be clear,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said, adding that the most ideal weather conditions will stretch from the interior Northwest into Kansas and Nebraska.
But, as Samuhel also noted, it’s still early, so make sure to check weather conditions each day as they develop.
Oh, and one more weather-related tip: If you’re in the eclipse’s path of totality, make sure to bring a blanket or a warm jacket. As The Washington Post reported, those in the shadow will experience a temperature drop of 10 degrees or more as the moon blocks out the sun’s rays.