Eclipse viewing conditions- what to expect

Clear skies expected for much of the country 

Eclipse 2017 is almost upon us and its time to get your viewing equipment ready to go. The traffic will be unpredictable and you can expect delays in many parts of the country. There is a high chance that freight will be slower on Monday, as some companies are taking off or honoring reduced schedules. Additionally, some states have issued restrictions on heavy-weight and oversized loads. This should ease traffic a slight bit and will make it safer for their employees. Since we can’t predict the traffic on Monday, we will do something that is a bit more scientific and focus on the weather. 

Accuweather has a number of resources on their website to give you a full run-down of what to expect. We also asked the trucking industry’s most respected Chief Scientist to provide commentary and this is what we received from Riskpulse, the leader in weather analytics and risk-modeling for the logistics industry.

Mark Russo, Chief Science Officer of Riskpulse stated: 

We are certainly fortunate across the U.S. that Monday’s rare eclipse will be occurring during a time of year when the risk is low for persistent cloud cover and overcast skies. In other words, late August and September are the quintessential sunniest months of the year across the country.

This year is no exception as a majority of the lower 48 will be cloud free and experience favorable viewing. 

The eclipse cloud risk score is low!

— Mark Russo, Chief Science Officer of Riskpulse

Specifically on Monday, the highest likelihood of clear or mostly sunny/partly cloudy skies, favorable for eclipse viewing, will be across much of the Western U.S., South Central U.S., Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The lowest likelihood will be across the Midwest, including IA, northern IL, MN, and WI where there will be clusters of showers and thunderstorms during the late morning and early afternoon. Additionally, monsoon rains and associated cloud cover are possible across portions of the Southwest, including AZ, NM,UT, and western CO.

Portions of the Southeast in AL, GA, SC, and FL have a risk of “pop-up” storms on Monday afternoon. Along the path of totality, the sunniest skies will be across OR, ID and WY before turning cloudier across NE and portions of MO. However, mostly sunny skies look to return from southeast MO to western SC. As the path of totality exits the U.S. in coastal SC, some cloud cover is possible.

Happy and hopefully cloud-free viewing! 


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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.