National News

Weather forecast for April 8 total solar eclipse along path of totality

todayApril 2, 2024


ABC News

(NEW YORK) — “Eclipse Across America” will air live Monday, April 8, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on ABC, ABC News Live, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Disney+ and Hulu as well as network social media platforms.

In the days leading up to the historic total solar eclipse on April 8, skywatchers are flocking near and far to the 115-mile-wide path of totality.

The track of the moon’s shadow across Earth’s surface, dubbed the path of totality, will stretch from Mexico, through the United States and into parts of Canada giving millions of eclipse chasers the chance to experience the celestial event.

However, due to geographic weather projections along the wide ranging path, some locations may not experience totality on eclipse day.

In the U.S., the path of totality begins in Texas and will travel through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse, according to NASA.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) created a U.S. Climate Normals-based interactive map to show the average heat index, temperature, dewpoint, wind chill and obscuration levels across the path of totality in the U.S.

At this point, it is too early to know if specific town or location will be covered in clouds, but it is not too early to see how the general pattern is setting up.

As of Tuesday, most long term models point to unsettled weather, mostly cloudy maybe even rain and thunderstorms for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio have a 50/50 shot of seeing clouds and showers, forecasts show.

The Northeast, from western Pennsylvania into Maine, have the best shot at seeing clear skies and limited cloud cover.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and, for a short time, completely blocks the face of the sun, according to NASA.

Average cloud coverage on April 8, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Dallas, Texas: 54% mostly cloudy or overcast, 46% clear to partly cloudy skies
 Little Rock, Arkansas: 51% mostly cloudy or overcast, 49% clear to partly cloudy skies
 Indianapolis, Indiana: 66% mostly cloudy or overcast, 34% clear to partly cloudy skies

Buffalo, New York: 67% mostly cloudy or overcast, 33% clear to partly cloudy skies

“You want to avoid any type of cloud, if you can,” Fred Espenak, a former astrophysicist from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and author of “Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024,” told ABC News of eclipse day.

“Let’s say it’s on a sunny day with some puffy cumulus clouds around. All you need is for one of those clouds to be in front of the sun and you’ve missed the total eclipse,” he continued, adding, “So, you’re really looking for a place with as few clouds as possible.”

“I think seeing a total eclipse is something that should be on everybody’s bucket list and this April is just a golden opportunity,” Espenak said, noting that eclipse viewing is not just for scientists and astronomers, but for everyone.

“It’s an incredible event that will be something that people will remember for their entire lives,” Espenak continued. They’ll be telling their grandchildren about the total eclipse they saw in April of 2024, if they managed to get into the path of totality and have some good weather.”

“So I wish everybody fair skies next April,” Espenak said.

ABC News will continue to update with daily forecasts leading up to eclipse day on April 8.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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