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Will cloudy skies dim the eclipse over the Carolinas?

Rare double eclipse captured in space

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of a double solar eclipse from space. SDO caught both Earth and the moon passing in front of the sun on the morning of September 1.
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of a double solar eclipse from space. SDO caught both Earth and the moon passing in front of the sun on the morning of September 1.

A sky cover forecast updated early Wednesday by the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., casts a little gloom over Monday’s total solar eclipse in the Carolinas.

There’s a 50 to 60 percent chance of clouds in the Greenville office’s forecast area of western North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina, including areas that will be in total eclipse Monday afternoon.

But forecaster Lauren Carroll adds that the weather models being used do a poor job of predicting cloud clover. Likely conditions will come into sharper focus later this week.

As it now stands, there’s a slightly greater than normal chance of showers and thunderstorms Monday, Carroll said. A front is expected to be over the area and its precise location will be key. Parked farther to the north, more clouds would be expected. If it stays farther south, clear skies become more likely.

In the Columbia area, which is eclipse-central for South Carolina, forecasters say there is 40 percent chance of rain, possibly after the eclipse peaks at about 2:40 p.m. There’s a 60 to 70 percent chance of puffy cumulus clouds in the afternoon.

That could change over the next few days. And warning coordination meteorologist John Quagliariello with the weather service advises eclipse viewers to stay the course for now.

“This far out, I wouldn’t be changing travel plans,” he said.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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