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Mixed Weather Forecast Dampens Hopes for Clear Skies During April 2024 Solar Eclipse in Texas

As anticipation builds for the rare total solar eclipse set to grace the skies on April 8, 2024, millions are flocking to Texas in hopes of witnessing the awe-inspiring celestial phenomenon. However, weather forecasts are casting a shadow of uncertainty over the much-anticipated event, with clouds, rain, and even thunderstorms predicted to obstruct views across the Lone Star State.

Although Houston lies outside the path of totality, residents can expect to witness approximately 94 percent of the Sun obscured by the Moon at the peak of the eclipse around 1:40 p.m. CT. Initial forecasts from Eric Berger of Space City Weather paint a gloomy picture for eclipse viewers in Houston, with scattered to widespread rain showers and mostly cloudy skies anticipated on the day of the event.

Even for those planning to witness the eclipse from locations within the path of totality, the outlook appears bleak, according to Berger. “The operational runs of both the GFS and European models have, consistently, shown nearly 100 percent cloud cover across much of the state during the early afternoon hours on Monday,” Berger stated.

A map shared by Berger illustrates the extensive cloud coverage expected across Texas at 1 p.m. CT on Monday, with approximately 75 percent of the sky likely to be obscured by clouds along the totality path. However, Berger cautioned that this percentage could increase as the event draws nearer.

While the northeastern United States, including northern New England and Upstate New York, may offer better prospects for eclipse viewing with clearer skies, the outlook for Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and central Arkansas remains uncertain, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Rain and potential thunderstorms are forecasted near the path of totality in Texas, with the NWS planning to provide further updates on Tuesday.

Despite the less-than-ideal weather forecast, the solar eclipse is expected to deliver a mesmerizing spectacle, with the sky darkening suddenly for locations within its path. Berger and other meteorological experts underscored that the forecast is subject to change as the event approaches, offering a glimmer of hope for those eagerly anticipating the celestial event.