Eclipse watchers dodge clouds and showers

It’s hit or miss today across the Upper Midwest for eclipse watchers. Considerable clouds cover and scattered showers still look likely across much of Minnesota and Iowa. The best chances for a clear eclipse in the path of totality center on Nashville and the western USA.

Her’s a closer look at the latest forecast for the Twin Cities and much of southern Minnesota. Again, there may be a few breaks in the cloud deck, but with scattered thundershowers around it will be an hour by hour process to find those breaks.

You wouldn’t think I’d have to remind anyone who reads this space not to look directly at the sun with your uncovered eyes. Use protective eye-wear or the pinhole technique. Common sense. Mom was right. Don’t look at the sun!

NASA

Here’s some good information on the eclipse from the Minnesota Climate Working Group.

Minnesota Climate Working Group

In the Twin Cities, 83% of the sun will be covered by the moon at 1:06 pm CST August 21, 2017. Looking at recent 1 PM observations in the Twin Cities since the year 2000, skies were mostly sunny (3/8 cloud cover or less) seven of the past 17 years, partly sunny (3/8 to 5/8 cloud cover) five times, and cloudy (7/8 cloud cover or greater) five times. Temperatures have ranged from 65 degrees in 2004 to 84 degrees in 2013. It can occasionally be quite windy with a sustained wind of 17 mph with gusts to 24 mph in 2008.

And what should we expect from the August 21st, 2017 eclipse? We should see a noticeable loss of daylight, even if it’s cloudy, because up to 86% of the available sunlight will be blocked by the moon. Partial eclipses of the past have produced dusk-like sunlight levels, even during the middle of the day. The 2017 eclipse will occur at a time when temperatures normally would be climbing by a degree or two per hour, but we should expect temperatures to lose ground for an hour or so, possibly affecting our ability to reach what would have been the high temperature otherwise. Although we will not be in the “path of totality,” observant Minnesotans will have no problem recognizing the partial eclipse.

Scattered storms

Look for scattered showers and T-Storms today across southern Minnesota. Here’s NOAA’s HRRR model version of events depicting a couple wave of T-showers rolling through.

NOAA via tropical tidbits.

Slight severe risk

The highest chances for severe storms today run along the I-90 corridor into Iowa and southern Wisconsin.

NOAA

Free AC this week

Cooler and drier Canadian air blows in starting on Tuesday. It’s going to be a very comfortable week as we head for the opening of the Minnesota State Fair Thursday.

NOAA via Weather Bell.

Climate Cast live at The Fair Thursday

I hope you can join us at MPR booth at the corner of Judson and Nelson Thursday between 3-6:30 pm for a special live broadcast of All Things Considered with Tom Crann at the Fair.

I’ll be hosting a live Climate Cast, and taking your questions.

See you at the Fair!