Can You See the Solar Eclipse if it’s Cloudy?

total solar eclipse

Getty The sun is covered by the moon during a total solar eclipse in the Indian city of Varanasi on July 22, 2009.

So you’ve prepared to watch the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 but unfortunately there are clouds in the sky. How much will this affect your solar eclipse viewing experience?

Unfortunately, depending on how many clouds are blocking the sun, you probably will not be able to view the highlight of the solar eclipse. The best part of the solar eclipse is what is known as the gossamer corona(pictured above), which is visible only if the sky is relatively clear and transparent.

The good news is that other solar eclipse phenomena can be experienced even if the clouds are covering the sun. For example, it will get very dark around you, much darker than it usually gets during the day. Animals also may exhibit strange behaviors. During previous eclipses, observers have seen “songbirds go quiet, large animals lie down, crickets start to chirp and chickens begin to roost,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Also, the temperature will go down. It is possible that the air temperature could drop up to 20 degrees F during the eclipse. Although, this eclipse will more than likely see changes around the 10 degree mark, according to AccuWeather. The amount of temperature drop will depend on factors such as time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality. Temperature drops are usually more severe in the path of totality than outside the path. Other factors that can affect the temperature drop are cloud cover and humidity.

The path of the 2017 solar eclipse will touch 14 states, while at least a partial eclipse will be visible in all 50 states. The total area of the path of totality will be about 16% of the area of the United States, although most of this area is over the ocean. The event will touch land on the Oregon coast as a partial eclipse at 9:06 a.m. PDT on August 21, and will end as a partial eclipse along the South Carolina coast at about 4:06 p.m. EDT.

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