GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We are just over a year away from the next Great American Total Solar Eclipse. It’s an incredible and awe-inspiring event but it will only visible if the weather cooperates.
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon slides in between the Earth and the Sun during the day. When this happens a stunning display of a blacked-out sun causes an immediate temperature drop and 360-degree ‘sunset.’ During totality, the center of the sun is blocked in a way that spectators can see the coronal mass ejections streaming off the surface of the sun into space.
The upcoming eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024 in the early afternoon. The total eclipse will be from 1:43 p.m. to 2:59 p.m. EDT, with totality lasting for about two to four minutes. Visibility of will be weather dependent.
States included are portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
WHICH PLACES ARE STATISTICALLY MORE LIKELY TO HAVE CLEAR SKIES?
While it is impossible to tell a year in advance what the weather will be like for the day of the eclipse, climatology can help show which areas have a higher chance of being cloudy during the month of April.
April is typically an active weather month in the United States due to lengthening days and a southward moving storm track retreating down from the Arctic.
Climatologically, areas further southwest on the totality track have a better chance of seeing the eclipse without being covered by clouds. Even better chances of experiencing sunshine and an unobscured eclipse will be in Mexico.
As the eclipse nears, planners can get an early glimpse of the forecast about a month before the event by watching for Climate Prediction Center forecast trends. These show areas that are expected to be cooler or wetter than usual in the month to come. The actual daily forecast may not be set in stone until the week of, or even the morning of. Watch for changeable conditions if you plan to see the eclipse and know even the best-laid plans could still get washed out.