Total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 - predictions

Discussion in 'Sky photography' started by Dan Robinson, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. JamesCaruso

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    I'm hoping the crowds are all headed to places like Nashville, or where the time of totality is highest in Kentucky, and stay away from the rural areas, which seems likely based on Dan's info on St. Louis and Kansas City.

    I'm still a little worried about traffic out of Denver heading up to WY/NE, but the path is further from that city than it is from STL or KC so hopefully won't be too bad. I mean it's not as if the whole city is getting evacuated, how bad could it be??



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  2. JamesCaruso

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    Hopefully just the typical media hysteria, yet another manufactured crisis



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  3. Elaine Spencer

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    US power grid collapses
    Human trafficking
    ATM's will run out of money or not work
    Political protests
    Children being traumatized
    Emergency services not able to move from point A to B
    Gas shortages
    A crime wave
    Food shortages
    Cell phones won't work
    Prepare to not travel or limit travel for days
    Terrorist attacks
    Toilets won't work because too many people flushing around that time (yes, I read that)

    Don't forget human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA!!! :)

     
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  4. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    I see Lincoln, NE and the small towns south/west of there are sold out, but Omaha has lots of availability. I'm not sure what to think. Omaha has 500k people and I-80 west leads to the path, so I'm assuming it will be packed with traffic from people that are just making the 2 hour trip to the path, but I guess I don't know. Here at work, I've heard a few people talk about. One of our local news stations posted a story about the eclipse this week and a lot of the responses were, "I'll just watch it from work/home since we're(Omaha) is so close to the path." Those people seem to be unaware of the huge difference between 96-98% and 100% totality.
    Dependent on weather of course, I am planning on heading near the town of Wilber southwest of Lincoln where I scoped out a spot last weekend that is pretty flat and treeless so hopefully I can see the shadow racing towards me. My initial plan is to leave here about 830 and my destination is about 2 hours away. Hopefully that will be enough time to get there even with traffic. Of course if the weather looks crappy, than I plan on leaving Sunday to drive where I need to.
    On a side note, a couple of my friends that are coming with are going to have 500mm and 750mm lenses and are amazing photographers. I can't wait to see what they capture!
     
  5. Marc R. O'Leary

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    I'm hoping there aren't that many people from Denver heading north. I'll be travelling up through Pawnee Grasslands into Western NE somewhere...not sure where yet, but somewhere in totality as close to center path as I can get. My concern is that aside from 25 up through Cheyenne, there aren't a lot of alternate North bound routes, so odds are good that 52/71 will be busy. Luckily I've chased Pawnee enough to know its a decent grid of gravel roads. I don't recommend backroading it through there for the unfamiliar though. Lots of dead ends.

    I hope you're right about 2+ hours being just far enough that all the hipsters in Denver decide its not worth it and would rather watch the partial from their local craft brewery and beard wax emporium.
     
  6. Mark Egan

    Mark Egan Lurker

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  7. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    I posted this blog earlier about the possible cloud scenarios to watch for:

    http://stormhighway.com/blog2017/aug417a.php

    Unfortunately the models haven't settled down on anything yet, but we should be getting close to seeing something of a general pattern by this weekend, I'd hope. Today's 18z GFS would be nice (cold front sweeping through Sunday, pretty much the ideal scenario). At 264 hours, it's a dream at this point.
     
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  8. Michael Towers

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    I just got an email from Amazon notifying me that the “CE and ISO certified safe” glasses I bought from them are not to be used because they could not confirm they were sourced from a NASA and AAS recommended manufacturer. Amazon did refund my purchase and while I’m not happy to have to find replacements I’m glad I bought from a source that handled the transaction in such a manner. It does make me wonder how many similar “certified safe” glasses were bought from vendors where the purchaser will not get notification and possibly risk damaging their eyes. As posted previously, you can check here for a list of AAS reputable vendors:


    https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters


    Personally I won’t be viewing totality, I’ll be fishing on a lake near the Canadian border getting what I hope will be a bonus sunrise and sunset of fishing activity. For those of you viewing totality I hope you enjoy the show and that the experience lives up to your expectations.
     
  9. Devin Pitts

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    Yeah I made sure to research my glasses before buying this time around after getting burned(no pun intended) on the annular eclipse in 2012.
     
  10. Michael Towers

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    Yeah, my bad on buying them. I saw the list prior to purchasing but figured the certifications made them safe for use. They very well might be but I won’t take the chance.
     
  11. cstrunk

    cstrunk EF3

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    Many places are sold out. Does anyone know of any reputable places that are not gouging customers that have any stock left? I'm not looking to buy 50 or 100 of these things. Looking for maybe 5 or so.
     
  12. cstrunk

    cstrunk EF3

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    FYI, I just picked up 5 pair at the local Toys 'R Us store. Check there if you're still looking.
     
  13. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    The eclipse is now falling within a reasonably predictable range of the medium range models. Looking at the GFS, it looks to support the continued pattern of rainy and stormy over the central US. The 12Z run this morning blows up daily storm complexes over the plains overnight and moves them over the Midwest the next day. This should be a bit concerning for folks generally along and east of the Mississippi, as it suggests a higher probability of cloud cover ruining the show. The GEFS is strongly indicating an upper level ridge to build in over the south-central/southwest US, but I'm still seeing progs of rather high mid-upper level RH, so even that area may deal with more clouds than you would hope.

    I've been tentatively planning on getting to SC NE near Fairmount to watch the show. I'm encouraged at this point, but we probably won't know how clear it will be until the night before or the morning of. Some folks may have to scram and hurry to a spot a few hours away from their planned watching spot in the last few hours to catch totality.
     
  14. Craig A. Green

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    Both the Euro and GFS show high cloud layer(s) in SC NE between Alliance and Stapleton at totality. I'm staged at McCook overnight so the best area will reveal itself hopefully in the day before and like you said Jeff, it may very well be a morning decision.

    It was interesting to see both Euro and GFS alternate between clouds and clear between runs in SC NE yesterday.

    Looks like the upper level humidity streams in at daybreak if the current progs hold. Gas may be the big worry if there is a last minute stampede in the hinterlands of NE.

    In for a penny, in for a pound as this still looks the favored area even after the !$!&!# Rex block has thrown wrenches into Central Plains climatology for a few weeks now.

    In the umbra,

    Craig
     
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  15. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Models are giving the entire eclipse path coast to coast some cloud anxiety. Current trends don't really give any spot a guaranteed clear sky. Though as Jeff pointed out, I'd expect the High Plains to be west of any MCS activity and their associated clouds, and therefore the better bet to luck out with a clearing gap. Everywhere else, it looks like a game of roulette as to where an overnight MCS ends up. The models have yet to really settle down on anything, so I'd expect some more big changes in the coming days.
     
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  16. Jeff House

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    My bet is KC traffic will be like the day of the World Series parade. Position early! Figure STL will be similar. Reading BNA is so booked has me nervous about any repositioning here in Tenn. Forecast might force me toward Kan/Neb but hoping for Tenn.

    Plains risk is cloud debris from MCS but perhaps position behind with local subsidence. Southeast US we will hope reduced solar insolation cuts off Cu fields, but could be too late if a boundary under weak 500 heights allows stuff to go too early.

    Back to the crowds: Sounds like double peaks near the 2:40 zone Hopkinsville (either side incl Nashville, Carbondale 2024) and best climo out West. Hopefully the Heartland will offer some maneuverability and of course the right weather.
     
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  17. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    As of 2:45pm today, KC is now the only metro area that has a good number of hotel rooms. Everywhere else booked solid or very close to it. STL metro is on pace to be booked solid by the end of the day today:

    https://www.hotels.com/search/searc...rooms=1&q-room-0-adults=1&q-room-0-children=0


    Many of the remaining vacancies in the booked cities are going for $500-$1,000 a night. This is a pretty remarkable development that shows there is a significant last-minute contingency in eclipse travelers.
     
    #117 Dan Robinson, Aug 14, 2017 at 2:47 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017 at 2:53 PM
  18. Brian G

    Brian G EF1

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    The 12Z Euro looks decent for much of the eclipse path with clear skies in the morning giving way to convectively induced CU fields by 1pm. Let's hope that more aggressive ridging and further eastward positioning on it compared to the GFS is a trend that will hold.

    By the way, a lot of the papers on the meteorological effects are behind paywalls so I can't read them, but I did find some literature suggesting that significant eclipsing can have a slightly suppressive effect to surface based CU fields. That makes sense given that the surface temperature response to reduced solar radiation is more pronounced than mid or upper levels. There have been documented cases where CU fields have been substantially reduced preceding totality.

    Meteorological Changes During a Solar Eclipse
     
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  19. Randy Jennings

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    Here is today's (20170815) 06z GFS cloud cover predictions. The 3 frames are roughly 4 hours before the eclipse starts in the western US, middle of totality in the US, and 4 hrs after the eclipse exits the eastern US respectively. Hope this improves. If not there is an annular eclipse in the US on 10/14/2023 and total eclipse in the US on 4/8/2024.

    20170815_06zGFS_valid20170821.gif
     
  20. JamesCaruso

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    What are the synoptic meteorological drivers of such extensive cloud cover? Seems like it runs counter to climatological expectations doesn't it? Is this a good overall model to use for general cloud cover forecasts, or does it not really tell the story for one reason or another? (I don't mean "model" as in GFS vs others, I mean this particular type of rendering, is it a reasonable thing to rely upon?)


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  21. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    At this time of year, the American monsoon is the likely culprit of increased atmospheric moisture, especially across the southwestern through central US (given the flow and parcel trajectories).

    It doesn't help that the ensembles (GEFS and Canadian) are showing strong signals for a trough to be present over the Pacific coast/western US that day, helping to pump moisture in along the typical track. Starting to have doubts that there will be widespread clear skies over the central US portion of the totality track.
     
    #121 Jeff Duda, Aug 15, 2017 at 11:34 AM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM
  22. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    It is worth noting the the GFS has not been initializing particularly well this week (it failed to pick up on Gert for several runs), and today's 12z run overdid the current cloud cover over the central US.
     
  23. JeremyS

    JeremyS EF2

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    I've noticed on today's 12Z GFS run, that despite the large area of rather high percentage of cloud cover, it is still showing temps in the upper 90s and lower 100s across southeast Nebraska and northern Kansas. Maybe a sign that it is overdoing cloud cover?
     
  24. MClarkson

    MClarkson EF5

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    GFS lately has had a bias towards too much upper level cloud cover/RH(which would show up on cloud maps while having a lower impact on surface T). That said... the bias is not overwhelming, and GEM is still showing some cloud mass in similar regions... just a bit less. So even factoring in that GFS bias, the long term trends point towards more clouds than we would like.

    Ensemble consensus is for greater than normal precipitable water across most of the country.
     
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