Today’s eclipse visibility outlook

The sun will be shining brightly today … at least until around 3:24 p.m., when the moon will pass in front of Earth’s star, blotting it out and casting the Adirondacks into darkness with the first total solar eclipse to directly hit this region in at least more than 1,000 years.

Eric Myskowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont, said they are predicting thin, high cirrus clouds in the sky around the time of the eclipse today, more to the west, less to the east.

“You’ll be able to see the sun through the clouds, but there will still be a layer of clouds there,” Myskowski said. “It’s going to be veiled sunshine.”

He said this is not quite “ideal” viewing conditions, but with much of the rest of the 2,500-mile path of totality through the U.S. having heavier predicted cloud cover, to the south and west of here, northern New York is one of the better places to be for this rare celestial event.

But while the weather locally is turning around, the inches of snow that fell last week will still be in the backcountry, where many people are planning to hike out into to view the eclipse, though local and state officials have urged hikers not to hike due to the wintry conditions.

Because of the fair conditions, more daytrippers are expected to travel into the Tri-Lakes for the event.

Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory President Seth McGowan said he’s been hearing from eclipse chasers who are changing their plans and coming up here to see the sun blotted out, including from Georgia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

For weeks, months and maybe years, people have wondered what the weather will be like on April 8, 2024. Now that they have a three-day prediction, McGowan said some are changing their plans.

ASCO Trustee Marc Staves said the eclipse die-hards book rooms in several places along the path of totality to not take any chances. If one location looks like it’s going to be cloudy, he said they bail and go to the next one.

Myskowski said with temperatures in the 40s on Sunday and well into the 50s today, most snow in towns and low elevations is expected to melt, creating muddier conditions. But there’s still lots of snow on the mountains still, and it will still be deep during the eclipse.

The Tri-Lakes were hit with between 4 and 8 inches of snow in the storm this week.

But there will still be plenty of snow around on the mountains. Clay said the snowfall and warming present dangerous potentials for slippery ice and avalanches.

Snowshoes and foot traction devices are recommended for hiking on Monday.

Myskowski said winds of 5 miles per hour are expected today, with 10 to 15 mph on mountaintops.

Whiteface Mountain Field Station Science Manager Scott McKim said his forecast models are showing for high-altitude clouds to spill over the high pressure ridge that provided blue skies on Sunday. This will make for “filtered” viewing, but not thick, overcast cloud-cover, he said.

The weather is about one-day off from being perfect, he said, “but everything considered we’re sitting pretty well,” McKim said.

McKim will be at the summit of Whiteface for the eclipse, where the University of Albany recently installed a 4K camera, which will be livestreaming the eclipse at tinyurl.com/3366f7sw.


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