Viewing update for Sunday night’s total lunar eclipse; Monday and Tuesday snow update

Tonight’s total lunar eclipse will be viewable all across North America, except where clouds obscure the view:

This, from

January’s total lunar eclipse is observable from North and South America, Europe, Northwest Africa, and the Arctic. It will be primarily an evening event for the Americas and a morning one for Europe and Africa. The next total lunar eclipse for North America occurs on May 26, 2021 — that’s a lengthy wait!
Leah Tiscione / S&T; Source: Fred Espenak

NPR’s Ian Stewart has a detailed discussion of the lunar eclipse, which includes this diagram from NASA:


According to NASA:

At 7:33 p.m. PST (10:33 p.m. EST), the edge of the Moon will begin entering the umbra. As the Moon moves into the darker shadow, significant darkening of the Moon will be noticeable. Some say that during this part of the eclipse, the Moon looks as if it has had a bite taken out of it. That “bite” gets bigger and bigger as the Moon moves deeper into the shadow.

Note that 10:33 p.m. EST is 9:33 p.m. CST.

NASA continues:

At 8:41 p.m. PST (11:41 p.m. EST), the Moon will be completely inside the umbra, marking the beginning of the total lunar eclipse. The moment of greatest eclipse, when the Moon is halfway through the umbra, occurs at 9:12 p.m. PST (12:12 a.m. EST).

Note that 11:41 p.m. EST is 10:41 p.m. CST.

Here’s how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model depicts cloud cover Sunday evening:

NOAA NAM cloud cover from 9 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday, via tropicaltidbits

The NAM model shows good viewing conditions over most of eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Clouds could obstruct lunar eclipse viewing across much of western Minnesota and in some areas along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

I’ll update the cloud potential later today.


5 p.m. update

Here’s how the latest run of NOAA’s NAM forecast model depicts cloud cover Sunday evening:

NOAA NAM cloud cover from 9 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday, via tropicaltidbits

It looks like west-central, southwestern and south-central Minnesota will have the most clouds during the lunar eclipse, and there could be some clouds from Duluth northeastward.

The NAM model does show some patchy clouds approaching the southwestern edge of the Twin Cities metro area around 11 p.m.


Chilly temps

Sunday highs are expected to be in the single digits below zero in northwestern and north-central Minnesota and on the Iron Range of northeastern Minnesota. We should see mostly single digits above zero elsewhere, with highs in the lower teens in parts of southeastern Minnesota.

On Monday, teens spread across much of Minnesota, with some single digits northwest:

Highs in the lower 20s return to roughly the southeastern half of Minnesota on Tuesday:

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to reach the upper teens on Wednesday. We could see lower teens early on Thursday, with falling temps through the day. Our metro area highs might only be around zero on Friday!

Monday and Tuesday snow

Parts of southwestern Minnesota could see snow showers into early this afternoon. Snow showers are possible near and along the North shore of lake superior Sunday evening.

Computer models show snow spreading across western, central and northern Minnesota on Monday. Some snow could arrive in the Twin Cities metro area by late Monday afternoon. Periods of snow are expected statewide and into western Wisconsin Monday night and Tuesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of snow.

The heaviest snow band is expected to be from west-central Minnesota to northeastern Minnesota.

Some areas could see 5 to 7 inches of snow:

NWS Duluth

It looks like the Twin Cities metro area could see about 2 to 4 inches of snow by late Tuesday, but check forecast updates.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.