How cloudy will your area be for the eclipse? See the preview.

Perhaps no weather forecast is more important to Americans this time of year than April 8, when a solar eclipse sweeps across the lower 48 states.

The prediction has a special meaning in the path of totality of about 115 kilometers from Texas to Maine where the moon will completely block the sun, revealing the sunlight, part outside of its atmosphere. Millions of people take this route, but a cloudy forecast can spoil what many say is an incomparable experience. The United States will not experience another solar eclipse until 2044.

Cloud forecasts may not be reliable until a few days before the eclipse, but computer simulations are starting to show weather patterns that give forecasters a general idea that where is it possible to have a clear sky or clear clouds.

Here is the latest forecast as of Friday morning Eastern time, which will be updated regularly as the moon approaches. This will be updated on Saturday afternoon.

Percentage of cloudy skies

How cloudy will your area be for the eclipse?  See the preview.

Percentage of cloudy skies

Percentage of cloudy skies

Percentage of cloudy skies

Note that historically, Texas has the best chance of no cloud cover, while the stretch from Ohio to Maine has the highest chance of cloud cover.

The current pattern simulated by computer models appears to be better than normal for sunlight at least in the central and northern parts of the path of totality. The southern areas that usually have more opportunities for sunlight are a big question mark.

The forecast shows high pressure in the eastern United States, promoting sunshine. Low pressure, which tends to produce more clouds, is shown in the West.

Although high pressure promotes sunshine, the clockwise flow around it favors southerly winds on its western side, which can pull moisture into the Gulf of Mexico and produce clouds and moisture. So areas of the south-central United States, including Texas, may have an increased chance of cloud cover if this pattern holds.

It is also possible for this system to develop a storm system east of the Rockies that could spread cloudiness, showers and storms to the southern Valley and Lower Mississippi Valley. But it is too close to be able to set the time and place. Until the future, models may be a day or two faster or slower in terms of how fast such a system grows and moves.

Percentage of cloudy skies

Percentage of cloudy skies

Percentage of cloudy skies

An area of ​​high pressure currently predicted by models in the northeast could favor better than average chances for partial sunshine from the Ohio Valley through New England. But keep in mind that the weather in the spring becomes unstable in this area and that this view is subject to change.

We want to emphasize that cloud forecasts are very uncertain and may not be reliable until April 5th or 6th; however, cloud cover is often based on processes that occur at such a small scale in such a small atmosphere that the models do not have enough data to accurately simulate them. These initial impressions are only intended to provide general guidance, and we cannot advise changing plans based on them.

Here are the first estimates for a few major cities along the way:

  • Dallas (62 percent cloud cover): Mostly cloudy weather, but the weather forecast will be sunny in the first half of the day with afternoon clouds and a chance of storms. Usually, thunderstorm days are completely clear and offer sunshine in the afternoon. Warm and humid conditions seem to be a good bet.
  • Little Rock (62 percent cloud cover): Little Rock may again find itself near the battle zone between high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west. It’s actually a coin flip whether it ends up in the clouds. If clouds do appear, they may appear later in the day.
  • Indianapolis (36 percent cloud cover): Near high cloud pressure, Indianapolis appears to have better sunny conditions. However, it may not be far from clouds or raindrops to the west. The temperature should be warm.
  • Cleveland (31 percent cloud cover): Since the forecast for the city will be under the influence of high pressure, clouds are lower than normal in Cleveland. The proximity to the Great Lakes and their abundant cloud cover make this a no-nonsense call. Temperatures may be warmer than normal.
  • Buffalo (35 percent cloud cover): Similar to Cleveland, Buffalo has a higher than average chance of sunshine. But since the city sits next to the Great Lakes cloud system, uncertainty is also high. Mild to warm temperatures are preferred.
  • Burlington, Vt. (51 percent cloud cover): It’s the cloudy season in Burlington, but the high pressure that’s packed nearby increases the chance of sunshine. Temperatures are expected to be mild to warm.

If you don’t see your city in the list above, you can check the weather for any area in the table below:

The above forecast map, discussion and table will be updated regularly until the day of the lunar eclipse when predictions will be more reliable. Bookmark this page and check back from time to time.

Forecast information is from the National Weather Service A Social Mix of Models. The eclipse data type comes from US Navy.

Emily Eng, Tim Meko, Szu Yu Chen, Emily Sabens and Dan Stillman contributed to this report.

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