A Quick Eclipse Weather Update…

Unless you’ve been under a (perhaps moon-shaped) rock for the last few months, you’ve probably heard by now that, on April 8th 2024, the next great American solar eclipse will take place. This one has had so much pomp and circumstance surrounding it that many tens of millions of Americans are travelling to the path of totality to witness the sight first-hand – but admittedly,

Let’s be honest: not all of us have the time, energy, money, or any combination of the three to make the trip. So how’s the forecast looking around here?

Let’s see what we’ve got in store for us now that we’re closing in on 24 hours from the Eclipse.

a 95% eclipse seen in 2017, similar to what we may see locally Monday.

First things first – the Tennessee Valley is NOT under the path of totality, but is relatively close. On average, we’ll be in the range of ~90% eclipsed during the maximum transit. To give a couple more precise examples, Waynesboro, TN will be under a 94% eclipse, while those of us in, say, Decatur, AL will be under an 89% eclipse.

I will say now – a partial eclipse really doesn’t compare to a full eclipse. If you have the time and energy, I’d definitely encourage a day trip up to the area of totally to our Northwest if you don’t already plan on it. It’s (no pun intended) a night and day difference that everyone should experience at least once in their life.

However, totality or not, weather is the X factor here… and the long and short of it is that it’s not looking too good around here.

On the good side of things: the nearest area of totality (MO Bootheel/S IL/W KY) look to have the best conditions of the entire path of totality, with mostly clear/completely clear skies through the early afternoon, so it doesn’t take a thousand miles to find clearer skies.

I mention this first, because locally? The story is clouds and showers. Simulated radar around the time of the maximum eclipse coverage locally shows off-and-on rain activity throughout the area, and the national cloud coverage map shows a heavy deck of thick, overcast skies extending from MS to AL, and into S TN (with notably CLEARER skies in NW TN – some of us in S TN are really on the fringe!). Interestingly enough, there is even a severe weather threat over TX/LA/AR/OK around the time of the eclipse, so if you had eclipse plans in that area, 1.) the weather is unlikely to cooperate, and 2.) the weather should be one of your bigger focuses throughout the day April 8th. Such are the concerns of an eclipse during severe weather season!

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