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Cloudy Forecast Dampens Hopes for Ideal Viewing of Total Solar Eclipse in Texas

Excitement surrounding Monday’s total solar eclipse in Texas is met with disappointment as forecasts predict widespread cloud coverage across the state, diminishing hopes for optimal viewing conditions. The National Weather Service (NWS) announced on Friday an increase in chances for high clouds, ranging from 60-90 percent coverage in most areas, including those in the path of totality.

According to the NWS, North and Central Texas are likely to experience suboptimal viewing conditions, with Central Texas facing the worst prospects. High clouds, while often thin and transparent, can obscure the Sun, affecting the eclipse experience. The likelihood of thin high clouds exceeding 90 percent by Monday morning raises concerns among meteorologists, who are closely monitoring their thickening leading up to the eclipse.

“Low clouds are most likely across Central Texas,” the NWS Fort Worth stated, adding that there’s a medium chance of low clouds encroaching toward I-20 by eclipse time. The extent to which low clouds will spread and whether they will form a dense blanket or allow some breaks remains uncertain.

Meteorologists warn that the further south eclipse chasers travel, the less likely they are to encounter ideal viewing conditions due to low cloud cover. Matt Lanza of Space City Weather reported that the Houston area faces only a 10 to 15 percent chance of clear skies for the partial eclipse, with even lower odds for Austin and San Antonio. Houston residents can expect cloudy skies, isolated to scattered showers, and the potential for afternoon thunderstorms.

For Texans seeking better viewing prospects, Lanza recommends heading toward Texarkana or Dallas, where there’s a 30 to 40 percent chance of favorable skies. However, North Texas is highlighted for potential severe thunderstorms on Monday, adding another layer of uncertainty to eclipse viewing plans.

Despite the cloudy forecast dampening hopes for ideal viewing conditions, eclipse enthusiasts across Texas remain hopeful for breaks in the clouds that may allow glimpses of this celestial spectacle.