Sunny Disposition for Sun Disappearance
Eclipse-athon 2017 is now just hours away. Here in South Florida it will be at peak around 2:55 pm on Monday afternoon, give or take a few minutes, depending on where you are located.
Be sure to participate in the CBS12 Facebook Live Q and A Sunday evening at 7pm eastern time with a NASA Goddard scientist. I'll be hosting it here... https://www.facebook.com/jeffweather/
The weather is actually looking good for viewing despite the tropical wave and clouds moving across for the weekend. Indications have been, and continue to be, that the tropical wave will pass west by Monday morning. A narrow dry pocket of air at the cloud level should move in during the day. So although Monday may start with clouds, the afternoon looks mostly sunny during the eclipse. The window of drier air is small however. Following quickly behind is another tropical wave. Since the window of opportunity is narrow, any deviation on the arrival or departure of this dry air will be critical to how sunny the skies will be for the eclipse.
The last time a total solar eclipse went from coast to coast was 99 years ago in 1918. The last total solar Eclipse in the Mainland US was nearly 40 years ago in 1979 in the Pacific Northwest.
Even though the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it is also 400 times closer to the Earth than the sun. Because the moon is so much closer to the Earth, when it passes in front of the sun, the moon can block out enough light to create a narrow 70 mile wide shadow. In the path day will turn to night, the temperature will cool and stars may even be visible. The 70 mile wide path is called "totality". That goes in a line from near Portland, Oregon east southeast to Charleston, South Carolina.
Everyone else in the continental US will see a partial eclipse of at least 60%. Here in South Florida we will see approximately 80% of totality. You must wear your approved glasses at all times while watching the event to protect your eyes.
Next total solar eclipse in the US will be in 2024.