Monday August 21
Its game day and the jitters all hinge on the playing conditions for todays ultimate sky show- the total solar eclipse. The fear of traffic has translated to road signs… and I though this one this morning was great. The scene is due to fog and an accident. The traffic has not been too bad so far in the Carolinas and the fog should burn off this morning. My focus today will be on two areas. First, Maryland as the central point for our region, but this does include souther PA, Northern Va and DE. The other is on South Carolina where my crew joins millions of others traveling to the path of totality. I have a few animations here, but note the link below for the complete group of eclipse videos.
Before getting to the forecast, please note a few key things:
Going blind is a real thing!
- Looking at the sun will do permanent damage to your vision. Proper eye protection is necessary to view the eclipse and not hope to buy this funky glasses.
- Please make sure your glasses have the prior NASA ISO approval. There were many sold online that were frauds.
- The only time to view the sun directly would be at the timer of totality if you are in the path of total coverage. That DOES NOT include Maryland. So basically on the east coast, DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN, unless you are in South Carolina.
- It is OK to look around at the surroundings without eye protection, just like a normal day. Just don’t look up if you don’t have those proper glasses.
Don’t bother to take a photo. There are plenty of professionals that will do that. We have some Go Pros and cameras set up for my crew, and I debated going live… but there are enough places that will do that. My crew and family agreed that we are going to absorb the entire experience without the distraction of trying to capture it. That’s the bess suggestion I’ve had from seasoned veterans in this area.
The main event will be between 1 PM and 4 PM, with some variation depending on your location. The most coverage will be between 2:45 PM and 3 PM.
For the zone of totality going through Columbia, SC, here is the cloud forecast for 2 PM. Partly cloudy with about half of the sky clear. Location of the clouds will be key but all will notice it getting dark. See the sliders below…
Cloud forecast —-> slider
Ocean City will be one of the better places
Cloud Forecast —> slider
The suggestion from the model is that there is a better chance for less clouds around the Bay and south… plus along the shoreline. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on this being a lock, but the set up for the weather does lean towards more clouds in the hills and mountains north and west at the mid afternoon time of peak eclipse viewing (2 to 3 PM)
Maryland- Moon Blocking The Sun Coverage Animation Video
See more states views like this and the full compliment of solar eclipse animation videos here
Animation: Colorized visualization of shadow coverage
Only during the few minutes of total eclipse coverage is is safe to remove safety lenses. In the Mid Atlantic you should wear yours the entire time!
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