As we inch closer to the Great American Eclipse on Monday, those living within the phenomenon's path of totality — spanning an immense swath of land from Oregon to South Carolina — are praying for clear skies. NASA has already published some handy maps, indicating which regions will likely be blessed with hospitable weather. But not even the experts and their aeons of sage-wisdom can accurately predict the forecast to a tee. Nonetheless, with the moon set to traverse the sun's glare in mere days, meteorologists have been releasing up to date forecasts for Monday, which suggest that denizens of the West Coast are primed to witness the very best the eclipse has to offer.
According to The Weather Channel, "the timing of the eclipse works to the West's advantage." Aside from the possibility of onshore winds in coastal areas, the National Weather Service mainly predicts clear skies throughout much of the region. Especially lucky will be residents of Oregon and Idaho, who are the most likely to experience clear skies and thus the eerie, midday darkness as it temporarily envelopes the Earth, writes Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.
As to whether you're likely to witness the full splendor of the eclipse, it basically boils down to clouds and rain, and according to the NWS, about half the country has a good chance of catching an uninhibited view of the celestial event. Or, as retired meteorologist Jay Anderson told Borenstein, eclipse-viewing is "going to be twitchy for everybody from Nebraska eastward." And the NWS' forecasts bolster those claims: the Mid-West is set to have thunder storms, and showers are primed to move southward and blanket the Mississippi Valley. At the end of the eclipse's path, in South Carolina, clouds are also expected to form. The East Coast, however, might find itself in relatively good shape, as a high-pressure system is likely to clear the skies in much of New England and New York.
Nevertheless, half of the country is surely in for a visual feast. What's more, there's still time to book an incredibly cheap campground, centered directly in the eclipse's path. And with the right environment and conditions, you might just bare witness to something equally unforgettably and mysterious.