What’s a special day it was here in our part of the world as the Great Solar Eclipse moved across a lot of the Continental United States. Early this afternoon the moon briefly got in between the earth and sun and it created quite the sky show.
Unfortunately for us here in the Western North Carolina Foothills and Piedmont we were not in the path of totality but the path that extended from The Great Smokies southeast through most of South Carolina was close enough to provide significant effects even here. Our coverage area experienced 96-99 percent obstruction. Our expert photographer Stuart McDaniel made the trip to the South Carolina Midlands and will have images later of the eclipse at totality, we’ll share those with everyone on our social media outlets.
The one thing in the Meteorology community that we were interested in was the eclipse and its effect on weather conditions as it passed through today. Our weather team closely monitored a number of observation sites throughout the coverage area and was intrigued by the trends we saw today.
Taylorsville (Alexander Co.)
Iron Station (Lincoln Co.)
Valdese (Burke Co.)
Pleasant Gardens (McDowell Co.)
Green Hill (Rutherford Co.)
On average today we noted that high temperatures occurred generally between 1 and 1:30 pm shortly after the eclipse began. Then once we got to the peak of the eclipse we saw on average a 6-10 degree drop in temperatures. Posted below are several recordings from today…one of the other trends that we found interesting was that temperatures bottomed out a good 30-40 minutes past the peak obscurity of the sun.
We also received reports from our followers on social media in some changes in animal habits during the peak…such as a slight increase in crickets chirping and even a few roosters crowing.
All in all this was quite the experience, we hope you enjoyed this once in a lifetime event.
Now, the next question everyone wants to know: When is the next Solar Eclipse?
Well…its going to be a very long time before the next close approach of a Total Solar Eclipse. That will occur over 60 years from now, (May 11th 2078). This eclipse will extend from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana northeastward through Southern Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Infact the path of totality for that path will roughly parallel to the I-85 Corridor.
Fortunately you won’t have to wait quite that long…April 8th of 2024 there will be a solar eclipse that will move from southwest to northeast across the Middle part of the country. Here in Western North Carolina we will experience an 80-85 percent coverage of that event