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Storms, Cloud Cover Could Overshadow Solar Eclipse Plans For Millions

  Spring storms and cloud cover could disrupt outdoor events and opportunities to witness the total solar eclipse along much of the path of totality  

April 1, 2024

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AccuWeather Global Weather Center – April 1, 2024

 
AccuWeather expert meteorologists say businesses, event planners, and travelers need to prepare for weather disruptions and cloud cover from Texas to Ohio during the total solar eclipse on April 8.


“AccuWeather’s latest total solar eclipse cloud forecast is looking promising for some, but concerning for others,” said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok. “There are three separate weather factors that will impact millions of families traveling to the path of totality, crews setting up major outdoor events, and plans to witness the big show in the sky.”

 

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Storms Before The Solar Eclipse

 

A storm is forecast to move from the southern Rockies to the central Plains and Midwest on April 6 and 7.

“The storms will impact travel, as well as those camping outdoors in the days
leading up to the eclipse,” said Pastelok. “Strong storms are possible from the central Plains to north Texas. Torrential downpours and even tornadoes are a threat.”

 

Rain & Cloud Concerns During The Solar Eclipse

 

AccuWeather Senior Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Lundberg says it may be a challenge for millions of people hoping to watch the solar eclipse to find clear skies on April 8.

 

“More adverse viewing conditions are expected from Missouri and Kansas southward into central and east Texas, where it is likely to be rather cloudy with showers and perhaps some thunderstorms. Other areas with poor viewing conditions will be from Wisconsin westward through South Dakota and Nebraska, to Washington and Oregon.”


A slow-moving front across the southern Plains could lead to clouds, showers, and thunderstorms in parts of east Texas and the Gulf Coast on the day of the solar eclipse.


Pastelok says clouds could extend back into central Texas. The best solar eclipse viewing locations may now be in the southwest and northwest areas of Texas.

 

Storms Impacting Travelers Returning Home

 

A second storm is expected to impact millions of people traveling home after witnessing the solar eclipse in the path of totality.

 

“This second storm can track from the Southwest to the central Plains between April 9 and 10. It can bring showers in the Southwest and some snow in the higher elevations of the Four Corners,” said Pastelok. “As the storm moves toward the Plains, showers and thunderstorms will develop and extend southward to Texas. People traveling through this region after the eclipse could be impacted by downpours, flooded roadways, and the possibility of severe thunderstorms.”

 

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Best Locations To Witness The Eclipse?

 

“The best places to be for observing the eclipse will be from Southern Illinois and Kentucky, eastward to the East Coast and up into New York state and New England. The area from West Texas to southern Arizona should also have favorable viewing conditions,” said Lundberg. “These areas will either be in, or close to the path of totality, where the least amount of cloud cover is anticipated.” said Lundberg. 


People traveling hundreds of miles to watch the eclipse on April 8 should plan for heavy traffic and delays on major highways along and near the path of totality.
 

“Millions more people are going to see this upcoming eclipse compared to the 2017 eclipse,” said AccuWeather Astronomy Expert Brian Lada. “Not only that, it’s going to last longer.”


AccuWeather Senior Director of Forecasting Operations Dan DePodwin says people need to have several ways to receive severe weather alerts, and not to solely rely on outdoor warning sirens.
 

“Event organizers and people traveling to the path of totality should closely monitor forecast updates and prepare backup plans. An indoor shelter should have enough for all attendees in the event that downpours, gusty wind, hail, lightning, or severe storms approach the area,” said DePodwin. “People camping or staying in recreational vehicles should locate nearby shelter options, especially if they are in an area with limited or no cell phone signal.”

The AccuWeather app offers daily forecasts, severe weather alerts and live radar to track showers and storms.

Daily forecasts on the AccuWeather app include rain probability, cloud cover, wind, air quality, a UV index, and an allergy outlook to help plan for outdoor events and gatherings.

The AccuWeather TV Network and AccuWeather NOW Streaming will provide live updates on weather conditions and cloud coverage in key cities along the path of totality on April 8.

 

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