Solar Eclipse Aug 21 2017

This page has been prepared by Mike Douglas (hence the use of “I” in text below) to help solar eclipse watchers put themselves in better position to see the eclipse on Aug 21 2017.  However, much of the material presented here can be adapted conceptually to any future eclipses in other parts of the world.

There are already many websites that provide detailed information about the 2017 eclipse.  I don’t duplicate this information here.  See the bottom of this page for some reasonable references.  The main purpose here is to provide a satellite-based cloud climatology and some meteorological concepts that are not evident on other websites.  Specifically, I provide here a high spatial resolution map of daytime cloudiness that might be important in different parts of the country for minimizing the chances for cloudiness at eclipse time.

Since I worked for years with MODIS imagery to generate climatologies of cloudiness, I was aware that these climatologies could be useful for many applications.  Only recently did it dawn on me that eclipse watchers could also use this information.  Hence this page.

The single most valuable item on this website is this cloud climatology for the USA for the July-Sept period.  It is a kmz file for display in google earth.  Download it here.

This page has three sections:

Mean cloudiness over North America for eclipse planning

Local factors that control daytime cloudiness

last minute planning for eclipse observations

Click on these links to see more details of each.  All of this is important to improve your chances of seeing the eclipse without clouds obscuring your view!

Remember, the landscape (or cityscape) may be of special interest to you (and your photography) so be sure to consider not only these meteorological factors, but where you would like to see the eclipse.

Naturally, I have included this eclipse information on our main webpage that focuses on natural history subjects and travel.  I also have a more meteorological website that includes talks discussing a variety of topics, mostly related to satellite cloud climatologies, biogeography and conservation issues.  Please don’t hesitate to explore these!

A FEW WEBSITES RELATED TO AUG 21 2017 ECLIPSE  (there are many more)

http://eclipsophile.com  (very good site that focuses on weather and celestial events)

https://eclipse.aas.org

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/ready-set-eclipse  (cloudiness map using surface station data (not as detailed as what I provide here)

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov  (NASA website)

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com

https://www.astrosociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Espenak.pdf  (excellent discussion about where to locate relative to the centerline – different locations have advantages and disadvantages)

https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEpath/SEpath2001/SE2017Aug21Tpath.html    (table giving duration at different times/positions along path)