On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will send North America into darkness as the sun, moon, and Earth align. This astronomy event is being dubbed the phenomenon of the decade. It will unfold over the continent in just a few short months, creating a spectacular total eclipse lasting a few brief minutes.
As the path of totality cuts diagonally across North America, the celestial spectacle will be visible to millions firsthand. Major cities like San Antonio, Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Montreal are directly in the path.
Eclipse expert Gordon Telepun explains why the 2024 eclipse will likely be viewed by even more people than the 2017 version.
More metro areas are in the direct path this go-around. Those who already witnessed the magic in 2017 will want to again. And those who missed out last time after hearing spectacular reviews will make sure to see totality this time.
Several key factors should be considered for those still finalizing plans to view the eclipse: weather outlook, totality duration and logistics. Telepun stresses balancing these elements, noting each category carries different strengths and weaknesses.
Additionally, people in large cities like Chicago and New York can drive a short distance to catch the phenomena if unable to reach areas along the path of totality.
What Will the Weather Be Like for the 2024 Solar Eclipse?
While an exact forecast cannot yet predict cloud conditions on April 8, 2024, meteorologists can estimate eclipse viewing prospects by consulting data from previous years.
As eclipse expert Gordon Telepun underscores, weather is the most critical element when finalizing plans.
"If weather prospects are poor in a region with long totality duration, the length is irrelevant if skies are likely overcast," Telepun stated.
Analyzing historical averages, Texas currently has the best odds for clear skies during totality.
However, cloud risk rises the farther north and east an area sits, with the highest likelihood of clouds over New England and Atlantic Canada. It's key to remember these assessments are derived from multi-year aggregates, so actual conditions next April could differ significantly.