Some parts of the U.S. could see cloudy skies during Monday's solar eclipse

Forecasters are predicting a strong chance that some parts of the U.S., most notably in Texas and across the Midwest, will not have optimal conditions to view the cosmic event.


With less than a week to go before a highly anticipated solar eclipse will cross much of the United States, forecasters are gaining confidence in what kind of cloud cover people can expect.

The cloud cover forecast is especially important for cities directly under the path of totality Monday, such as San Antonio, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Carbondale, Illinois. 

While the forecast will not be precise until roughly 24-48 hours before the eclipse, the sky is expected to be clear, or featuring only high clouds, which won’t obscure the eclipse, across New England. This includes the potential for exceptional sky conditions for cities such as Burlington, Vermont and Houlton, Maine.

Parts of northern Arkansas, southern Missouri and western Indiana also have a better-than-50% chance of seeing mostly cloudless skies Monday afternoon.

Some other parts of the country may not be as lucky.

Eastern Indiana, northern Ohio and western New York currently have greater-than-50% odds of cloudy skies during the eclipse. That would include the cities of Indianapolis, Cleveland and Buffalo.

On Thursday, revised forecasts offered some reason for optimisim, as predictions trended toward clearer skies in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Texas, however, continued to trend cloudier due to an incoming storm system that could not only create mostly cloudy skies, but also a risk for severe thunderstorms. Parts of Arkansas also have strong chances of cloud cover.

Cloud cover forecasts will also be important for locations outside the path of totality, given that at least 99% of the contiguous U.S. will get to experience at least a partial eclipse. 

Forecasters will continue to update the cloud cover forecasts, as the countdown ticks closer to the solar eclipse.