Solar eclipse forecast: Weather coming into focus

Central Oregon will be the best bet for clearer sky

A partial solar eclipse seen by NASA, May 25, 2017
A partial solar eclipse seen by NASA, May 25, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – With the solar eclipse now just a week away, the forecast is becoming more available for the total solar eclipse. Unfortunately, as the story goes, a forecast this far out is still not a permanent or even certain forecast.

There are only a few weather models that have data far enough out to even have a glimpse of what the possibilities are for August 21 and they inevitably have slightly different returns.

As we know, the coast can be tricky with morning clouds and the onshore flow coming off the Pacific Ocean. Those locations along the Oregon coast, will be much harder to forecast for this far out.

The best bet at this point is looking at the weather patterns and what the few weather models are depicting at this time. Below, I have a few images from two weather models, the GFS and ECMWF.

At this time, the GFS is a little more worrisome when it comes to a potential weak disturbance pushing clouds into the state Monday morning. The ECMWF supports a forecast that has more room for error and a satisfying result for the eclipse.

Without a lot of data to work with, the best is to continue to go on history and the norms. Central Oregon will be the best bet for clearer sky while the coast will have a lower probability. This forecast we will watch like a hawk as we get closer to the actual day.

It’s too early to start worrying, if you have your plans for the eclipse, just follow them through.

Some extra notes

A total eclipse will play a role in the weather forecast, at least for part of the day Monday. During the act of the eclipse, a temperature drop is likely. Temperature drops have fallen as much as 10 to 15 degrees in history at some locations.

If you’re going to be participating, I would suggest having a light jacket or sweater available. The average temperature for most of these cities in the path of totality in Oregon at the time of the eclipse is in the 60s.

With a slight hit to the radiant heating (warmth from the sun), we will be subject to a fast temperature decrease. With the quick change in temperature, the possibility for wind to pick up is also likely.

I am looking forward to the surface observations come Monday morning and the impact the eclipse will have on our local temperatures.

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