Weather will play a big role in the upcoming Solar Eclipse - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Weather will play a big role in the upcoming Solar Eclipse

(Source: NASA) (Source: NASA)
(WMC) -

There will likely be daily posts and chatter about the upcoming Solar Eclipse every day until the moon’s shadow is cast on the Earth on August 21.

There are so many cool aspects of this rare event. Ninety-four percent of the sun will be blocked here in Memphis, and it will get very dark.

The path of totality (100 percent blockage) of the solar eclipse will go through Missouri, southern Kentucky, southern Illinois and middle Tennessee.

That means areas north of Memphis will have an even better solar eclipse experience with 95-99 percent blocking.

If you have never experienced a solar eclipse, there are some interesting weather effects that are brief but substantial.

The closest place for Memphians to get a great view of the eclipse will be Nashville where it is expected to last one minute and 57 seconds and will start at 1:27 p.m.

The window for the prime portion of the solar eclipse is only 2-3 minutes long between 1:20 p.m. and 1:23 p.m. The main impact on the weather from a solar eclipse is the temperature fall and rise during peak viewing at 1:22 p.m. 

The temperature will start falling an hour before the peak, then rise again just after peak viewing. What will the Eclipse look like from space at around that time? 

Check out the image below of the 1999 total solar eclipse as seen from space, with the Moon's shadow clearly visible on the surface of the Earth.

There is one thing that can alter everything during the event, and that would be cloud cover. Unfortunately, the odds are not in our favor. According to Jay Anderson's great map of average August cloud cover, there is almost a 60 percent chance of clouds at the time of the solar eclipse.

The best chance to view will likely be across the northwest into the plains where cloud cover chances are less than 20 percent.

Even with clouds, we would still experience a temperature fall and rise but it would ruin actual viewing with those cool eclipse glasses. If there are scattered clouds or a mostly cloudy sky, it will get somewhat darker.

But if it’s completely overcast, it may be so dark, you can’t see where you are going. That will be the interesting part of a cloudy day, but it will also be a big disappointment for many hard-core eclipse fans.

To learn more about the upcoming solar eclipse, visit NASA's website here

Spencer Denton
WMC Action News 5 Meteorologist
First Alert Storm Tracking Team
Facebook: 
Meteorologist Spencer Denton
Twitter: @spencerstorm5

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