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

The Northeast may have the best shot at clear skies and limited cloud cover.

April 7, 2024, 3:34 PM

"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.

Just one day before the historic total solar eclipse on April 8, skywatchers are flocking near and far to the 115 mile-wide path of totality.

However, some people may not be able to see the eclipse in some locations due to the weather along the wide-ranging path.

The National Centers for Environmental Information 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.

PHOTO: Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
ABC News

After getting so lucky with clear skies across much of the country during the 2017 solar eclipse, this year's event will be a bit cloudier for several cities.

In Texas, warm weather dominates with abundant cloud cover the closer you get to the Gulf Coast. Cities like Houston and San Antonio will likely deal with mostly cloudy skies, while it's looking like there will be just enough clearing in the Dallas area to support some good views.

PHOTO: Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
ABC News

Along the path of totality in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, the forecast has improved in recent days. Most cities in these states are projected to see clear enough skies for optimal eclipse viewing.

From the South into the Great Lakes, temperatures will also be above average in the 60s and 70s, according to the latest forecast.

PHOTO: Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
ABC News

In the Northeast, there is a warm front projected to move across the region on Monday, bringing clouds and a few scattered rain showers.

The mid-level clouds may be pesky enough to obstruct part of the eclipse for portions of the Northeast.

PHOTO: Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
ABC News

The best chance for completely clear skies on eclipse day is in northern New England, stretching from Burlington, Vermont, to Houlton, Maine, where temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s.

Interestingly, there can be some temporary changes in the weather during a total solar eclipse. The eclipse is essentially a faster version of sunset and sunrise, and the surface weather conditions often mimic that process.

During the 2017 eclipse, which stretched from Oregon to South Carolina, researchers from NOAA deployed weather sensors that measured a more than 20°F drop in temperature that took nearly an hour to return to its previous daytime warmth.

PHOTO: Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
Solar eclipse weather forecast for Monday, April 8, 2024.
ABC News

Not all locations will feel that significant of a drop in weather -- most areas drop within 5 to 10 degrees depending on local conditions -- but it could be interesting for eclipse viewers to peek at a thermometer as totality progresses.

Outside of the path of totality, skywatchers will have the chance to see the partial eclipse, if weather permits.

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

  • 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: 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

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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