AccuWeather provides cloud-first forecasts

AccuWeather provides cloud-first forecasts

The final countdown is underway to the astronomy event of the decade — a total solar eclipse — and far-flung experts have the scoop on this year's weather forecast: Will it be cloudy on April 8?

Not only does day turn into night in the shadow of the college, but our surroundings change as well. Try to notice these changes under a total eclipse.

Millions of people will look skyward on April 8 to witness a breathtaking spectacle unlike any other in nature – a total solar eclipse – as long as the weather doesn't spoil the spectacle.

AccuWeather's long-term forecasters have identified weather patterns and emerging trends to create the first look at the weather forecast for the astronomy event of the decade.

“AccuWeather's eclipse forecasts rely on long-term historical average cloud cover data that NOAA and many others use as a basis, and then our long-term forecasters identify weather patterns and trends that may affect cloud cover to create a global outlook.” Preliminary, explained John Porter, AccuWeather's chief meteorologist, in his weather forecast for eclipse day.

Map showing the total path where a total solar eclipse will be visible on April 8, 2024. (NASA Science Visualization Studio)

To see the total solar eclipse, people need to be in a narrow area called the total eclipse path, which will extend from Texas to Maine in the United States. The rest of the country will witness a partial solar eclipse.

South Texas, the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes regions currently have the best chance of suitable weather for a total solar eclipse based on the latest data, said Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather's chief meteorologist.

Chances of cloudy weather are slightly higher in the Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley, while the Northeast faces the highest risk of clouds. However, there is still a chance that cloud-free weather will triumph in these areas on April 8, as the sun, moon and Earth line up to create the eclipse.

AccuWeather meteorologists used historical cloud cover, long-term forecast trends and factors such as El Niño to create a cloud forecast for the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.

AccuWeather's eclipse forecast provides information for April 8 as a whole. However, cloud cover can vary during the eclipse period and forecasts will be fine-tuned as April 8 approaches.

A partial solar eclipse rises behind clouds, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Arbutus, Maryland. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In addition to the exact timing of the eclipse, multiple weather factors can play a role during the first half of April.

“There is a high probability that a cold front will move across the central and eastern United States near this eclipse time,” Pastelok said. The exact location of this front can be the difference between a cloud-filled sky and a cloud-free sky.

Additionally, there is a risk of a slow-moving storm system over the Southeast during April. “If one of these (systems) forms, the duration of cloud cover could be longer with any system that leads to poor viewing,” Pastelok added.

It's not too late to get eclipse glasses:

The gradual weakening of El Niño is one of the factors taken into account when creating AccuWeather's first solar eclipse cloud forecast. El Niño occurs when water temperatures near the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean are higher than historical averages, which in turn changes weather patterns across North America.

“El Niño conditions will persist despite rapidly weakening this spring, and could continue to produce an active pattern across the country around the time of the eclipse,” Pastelok explained.

April is also the month when the severe weather season intensifies, bringing the potential for thunderstorms in parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Tennessee Valley. “However, we cannot make this decision from this far away,” Pastelok said.

While smaller cumulonimbus clouds can dissipate during the eclipse as the Moon blocks the Sun, thunderstorms can continue to flourish and may create a stormy catastrophe for people who need to seek shelter rather than outside to view the eclipse.

Get the free ACCUWEATHER app
Do you have the app? Open AccuWeather Alerts™ with Premium+

One positive aspect of the long-range forecast is the temperature forecast for early April.

“At this point, we don't see any dangerous late-season cold weather, but it could be cooler in parts of the south-central Plains and Midwest, and cooler across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast,” Pastelok explained.

The lack of arctic air will make spending long periods outside more comfortable on April 8, although a coat or sweatshirt may still be needed in northern areas of the overall route.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather through April 8 for the latest cloud forecast for the total solar eclipse.

Want the next level of security, without ads? Get advanced, hyper-local severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather™ Alerts are requested by our meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safe.

Report a typo

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *