Total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 - predictions

Tim Paitz

EF2
Apr 27, 2015
190
53
11
St. Louis, Missouri
James, that's awful! Do you have a Twitter account? Companies monitor tweets there and are more likely to see it if you were to publicly @ them with the problem. I have seen companies take action as a result of a Tweet that is public. as opposed to Facebook

RE clouds - still a nail-biter of a forecast from Nebraska to Illinois. I am cautiously optimistic of the trends on the NAM, but the GFS has been very persistent on storms along the MO warm front overnight/into the morning. A lot of the NWS offices along the path are issuing special eclipse forecasts in their discussions, worth checking out.

As long as the clouds stay west of Chesterfield.
 

Brian G

EF2
Sep 25, 2014
105
25
11
St. Louis, MO
I just did a dry run down to my viewing site near Evansville, Illinois, and it is "business as usual" down there in the totality path. We went through Sparta, Baldwin and St. Libory. Absolutely nothing is going on. No crowds, no festival tents, no campers, no signs, no traffic. In fact, the road I use to get back to my town had two cars coming south in 10 miles. Looking at the Google traffic maps across the country, it appears the clogged roads concern may very well be a non-event.

Aside from the synoptic mid/high clouds plaguing Nebraska, the main cloud threat for MO/IL/KY/TN will be convection-related. The HRRR has backed off of the coverage overnight through tomorrow, although a few thunderstorm clusters forming today in MO with similar conditions tomorrow is a little concerning. Overall, I think the outlook here is a little better, and there may actually be some open roads to reposition with.
We'll make a final decision tomorrow morning, but our tentative plan is somewhere in the Chester, IL area but we'll drive further south and east to avoid clouds if need be. I do think the further south and east you go the odds increase for clear skies.
 
May 2, 2010
186
25
11
Springfield, IL
We're chillin' here in Salem IL with Steeleville as our tentative target, although we could shift a bit farther east toward Harrisburg if need be. Local businesses are busy but not much more than for a holiday weekend. Store shelves are full and no problem getting gas or other supplies. I'm guessing that the predicted traffic apocalypse may have fizzled because not as many people decided to go at the last minute... the majority of people who are going are already in the path or within a reasonable drive at this point.
 
Happy to be in Central Idaho. Some high clouds will likely move through, giving way to clear skies by eclipse time. The one big concern that remains is fire danger. Lots of people here in the forests, which are quite dry, as is the atmosphere. Other than that, looks like it will be an amazing show!
 

Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
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St. Louis
stormhighway.com
The traffic apocalypse, for the most part, isn't happening. I-25 in Colorado is the only place I can see right now with congestion. The cloud issue is still lingering. The bulk of the cirrus deck from the Iowa MCS looks to barely miss southern IL/STL on IR satellite, but IR is likely not showing the full extent of that (IR tends to not show thinner cloud masses). Daybreak will reveal the true picture. 300mb anvil-level winds are due west, which should help keep that north of us. Then there is debris from the central Kansas MCS that those westerlies have on a track aimed right at southern IL and even southern Kentucky. I am re-evaluating and probably will head down to Paducah or even farther southeast. Amazingly, the traffic cameras there show roads still clear. All green on Google maps throughout the Midwest. I would expect that to change later today, but likely not as bad as originally feared.

Paducah traffic cameras:
http://www.westkentuckystar.com/Multimedia/Live-Web-Cams.aspx
 
Last edited:
May 2, 2010
186
25
11
Springfield, IL
Made it to Steeleville about 10:30. The only traffic issue we had was a bad backup along Illinois 127 just north of Pinckneyville (prolly because that's an artery going to Carbondale), but all we had to do was find the nearest county roads going west and south to get around it. Sky conditions looking A-OK so far with just a few high clouds... hoping all the convection/debris clouds stay far enough north not to interfere with totality. Then the challenge will be getting home.
 
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Dan Robinson

Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
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St. Louis
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Smooth sailing, made it down to the I-57 / I-24 split with no issues. Bypassed an indicated backup on the interstate by using county roads. We are1/2 mile from the centerline and saw maybe a dozen eclipse watchers from the Goreville exit to our spot 3 miles away. Really amazing that the traffic turned out to be such a non event. Cloud situation looks excellent in southern Illinois. Looks like things have gone as well as we could have hoped for - very thankful and relieved. Now to wait for the show!
 

Tim Paitz

EF2
Apr 27, 2015
190
53
11
St. Louis, Missouri
The traffic apocalypse, for the most part, isn't happening. I-25 in Colorado is the only place I can see right now with congestion. The cloud issue is still lingering. The bulk of the cirrus deck from the Iowa MCS looks to barely miss southern IL/STL on IR satellite, but IR is likely not showing the full extent of that (IR tends to not show thinner cloud masses). Daybreak will reveal the true picture. 300mb anvil-level winds are due west, which should help keep that north of us. Then there is debris from the central Kansas MCS that those westerlies have on a track aimed right at southern IL and even southern Kentucky. I am re-evaluating and probably will head down to Paducah or even farther southeast. Amazingly, the traffic cameras there show roads still clear. All green on Google maps throughout the Midwest. I would expect that to change later today, but likely not as bad as originally feared.

Paducah traffic cameras:
http://www.westkentuckystar.com/Multimedia/Live-Web-Cams.aspx

I drove from the Metro East to West County this morning. No traffic at all, not even on Poplar. It's mostly sunny out too.
 

Tim Paitz

EF2
Apr 27, 2015
190
53
11
St. Louis, Missouri
Smooth sailing, made it down to the I-57 / I-24 split with no issues. Bypassed an indicated backup on the interstate by using county roads. We are1/2 mile from the centerline and saw maybe a dozen eclipse watchers from the Goreville exit to our spot 3 miles away. Really amazing that the traffic turned out to be such a non event. Cloud situation looks excellent in southern Illinois. Looks like things have gone as well as we could have hoped for - very thankful and relieved. Now to wait for the show!

I remember missing the 2012 eclipse because of clouds. :/
 

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
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Oct 7, 2008
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Westminster, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
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