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Last Minute Eclipse Planning

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#26 Joe1950

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:38 PM

You're right FXM. I know that from the few times I made the trip to Florida by car when the boys were young. Finding a spot within a couple hours drive at most, is the smart thing to do in this situation. Then make your way to the best spot very early Monday.

 

My son and I are going to rehash everything tonight.

 

My sincere appreciation to all who contributed their time and expertise to this topic. It's an immense help to us. waytogo.gif waytogo.gif waytogo.gif  


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#27 Scott99

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:52 PM

Good point about the traffic hype - this could be like "Y2K".   Another way to look at it - I haven't talked to single person outside my astronomy club that is going, most are barely aware an eclipse is even happening.

 

I think the whole coastal/sea breeze issue is secondary to the actual weather forecast.  The sea breeze thing only works on clear days and fair weather cumulus clouds.  If the SC coast is in the midst of a rain and cloud storm event it won't make any difference if you're near water.  I'm starting to watch the forecast now and you can see it's usually a few days of clear weather alternating with a few days of clouds.


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#28 Joe1950

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:17 PM

You're right about that, Scott. A thick and large cloud cover doesn't stop at the beach here in NJ. We get into patterns like that also.

 

Probably the best thing to do is be flexible with plans. If it looks promising on Saturday, your chances are decent. If there is a high probably of bad weather, not so good.

 

I read where if there are fair weather (puffy) clouds in the area, the cooling effects of the eclipse shadow usually will tend to dissipate them. Of course, one big cloud that covers the sun for the wrong 5 minutes....

 

Thanks Scott. A very good point about the different 'cloudy' conditions.


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#29 REC

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:18 AM

You're right about that, Scott. A thick and large cloud cover doesn't stop at the beach here in NJ. We get into patterns like that also.

 

Probably the best thing to do is be flexible with plans. If it looks promising on Saturday, your chances are decent. If there is a high probably of bad weather, not so good.

 

I read where if there are fair weather (puffy) clouds in the area, the cooling effects of the eclipse shadow usually will tend to dissipate them. Of course, one big cloud that covers the sun for the wrong 5 minutes....

 

Thanks Scott. A very good point about the different 'cloudy' conditions.

I had that happen to me in 1995 for a annular eclipse. It was passing right over my house in NH, but I drove 30 min. exactly in the center spot. It was in May and a nice spring day, blue skies, big white puffy clouds. At the key moment of the eclipse, one of those puffy SOB parked it's self right over the sun! I was going crazy, get out, get out! I ended up taking the filter off and shooting it through the clouds! I got a few ok shots, but really missed the main 5 min. main event. Drove back home and my neighbor said he had a great view of it! Go figure? Hope we have better luck this time!


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#30 Joe1950

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

That does sound like something that I would do, with the same results, REC. 



#31 AUricle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:42 PM

That brings up a question. Now it's a relative question to be sure.

Lets say you have a BIG puffy cloud heading right for the Sun at your location, and by eyeballing it, you determine the cloud will be dead center blocking the Sun at just the wrong time.

In REC's example, a 30 minute drive made all the difference in the world........

 

So the question is: How far would you have to move to affect enough angular change to avoid the cloud, and which is the best direction to move?

 

On part two, I think moving head on into the cloud might give you the fastest resulting clear sky...but....


Edited by AUricle, 15 July 2017 - 10:42 PM.

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#32 Joe1950

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:10 PM

When it comes to choosing, I usually, by a large margin, choose wrong. Really, it defies the law of averages. shrug.gif

 

I do do agree with the logic of going right towards it, unless the edge of the cloud is going to cover the sun. Then maybe go to the side away from the edge.


Edited by Joe1950, 15 July 2017 - 11:15 PM.


#33 AUricle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:26 PM

This is somewhat a crapshoot, but if you've got to have a place to stay overnight, maybe looking at an area along the centerline that is predicted to have ian iffy or bad weather forecast, might yield a bonanza.

With hotels overbooked, a bad weather forecast will cause a flurry of cancellations as much as 3-4 days out ahead of the eclipse. Those hotels will go from overbooked to ZERO in a heartbeat, and will be BEGGING people to book......at the OLD rate, or maybe even bargain rates.

Should weather look better within say 150-200 miles, you could stay overnight the night before, then drive early morning into better skies......just an idea, and an educated guess, as my wife owned a travel agency for 30 years and saw overbooking/fire-sales happen regularly.........

She's betting on a TON of cancellations..............fwiw. 



#34 REC

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:32 AM

 

You're right about that, Scott. A thick and large cloud cover doesn't stop at the beach here in NJ. We get into patterns like that also.

 

Probably the best thing to do is be flexible with plans. If it looks promising on Saturday, your chances are decent. If there is a high probably of bad weather, not so good.

 

I read where if there are fair weather (puffy) clouds in the area, the cooling effects of the eclipse shadow usually will tend to dissipate them. Of course, one big cloud that covers the sun for the wrong 5 minutes....

 

Thanks Scott. A very good point about the different 'cloudy' conditions.

I had that happen to me in 1995 for a annular eclipse. It was passing right over my house in NH, but I drove 30 min. exactly in the center spot. It was in May and a nice spring day, blue skies, big white puffy clouds. At the key moment of the eclipse, one of those puffy SOB parked it's self right over the sun! I was going crazy, get out, get out! I ended up taking the filter off and shooting it through the clouds! I got a few ok shots, but really missed the main 5 min. main event. Drove back home and my neighbor said he had a great view of it! Go figure? Hope we have better luck this time!

 

Well, since I posted my sad story, I guess a picture is worth a thousand words! Here it is through the clouds and no filter.

Attached Files


Edited by REC, 16 July 2017 - 09:32 AM.

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#35 Joe1950

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:49 PM

That's a great photo. Even with the clouds.



#36 REC

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:13 PM

That's a great photo. Even with the clouds.

Thanks Joe! This image is from a 35mm slide. I'll have to put it in Photo Shop to see if I can squeeze more detail out of it? I kind of forgot all about this until the eclipse forum started.

 

Here is the other one I got, as it got closer to the "Ring". It almost made it, but the clouds really poured in then. Funny thing, since it was in May, as it got darker out the Black Flies started to come out and my wife hightailed it to the car. She watched it from inside from the Sun Roof!

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Edited by REC, 16 July 2017 - 02:14 PM.

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#37 Scott99

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:38 PM

I would be happy with those pictures!  Eclipses are viewing "on the edge".  it's only 2 minutes, there's risk of disappointment, on the road far from home.  I'd be happy to see at least some totality through light clouds. 

 

My life story of astronomy is full of clouds!  This is a cloudy part of the country, I'm used to it.  I would not be surprised by bad luck.  I remember getting my first large telescope in the 80's and it was cloudy every night for a month, it was unbelievable.  

 

this is why I want to make the trip a visit to the mountains in addition to eclipse viewing.  North Carolina has 40 peaks over 6,000 feet, that is impressive for the eastern US, I've always wanted to check it out, this is the time to do it.  Either that or visit the beach and Charleston in SC.  


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#38 REC

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:46 AM

I would be happy with those pictures!  Eclipses are viewing "on the edge".  it's only 2 minutes, there's risk of disappointment, on the road far from home.  I'd be happy to see at least some totality through light clouds. 

 

My life story of astronomy is full of clouds!  This is a cloudy part of the country, I'm used to it.  I would not be surprised by bad luck.  I remember getting my first large telescope in the 80's and it was cloudy every night for a month, it was unbelievable.  

 

this is why I want to make the trip a visit to the mountains in addition to eclipse viewing.  North Carolina has 40 peaks over 6,000 feet, that is impressive for the eastern US, I've always wanted to check it out, this is the time to do it.  Either that or visit the beach and Charleston in SC.  

I'm from NE and the mountains in upstate NC are pretty impressive! Reminds me of home and even has some good trout streams. In stead of heading south, NC for the Eclipse, there are also spots up north, west of Asheville that will be total and also Clemson, SC.


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#39 rogue river art

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:55 PM

Not making a big deal about it. Living in So Or. I'll leave around midnight an head north 150 miles stop for totality and head east to meet up with a friend an camp for a few days in different places. Not into before and after totality  and not taking pictures, just want to see it dark. My first time for a total eclipse but have seen several partial eclipses.


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#40 trurl

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:07 PM

Even though I live 3.5 hours from Santee we are flying to Denver then driving 4 hours to Casper on the Saturday. But we started planning many months ago. Casper has a much better chance for clear skies, the city is having a big party, and the whole trip will be an adventure* whatever happens.

 

*Adventure - something that is more fun to talk about later than it was to actually do.

 

Hoping for clear skies so this adventure will be just as fun to do as it will be to talk about later.


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#41 grnbrg

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:19 PM


*Adventure - something that is more fun to talk about later than it was to actually do.
 
:)  I'm stealing this.
 
 
 
grnbrg.

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#42 Joe1950

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:08 PM

From what I can gather the chances of a successful view are significantly greater in the western states than those in SC. Most opinions of people who know the SC area give the edge to the clouds by a 60-40 margin that time of year. If I interpret things correctly.



#43 Jim Haley

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:40 PM

"From what I can gather the chances of a successful view are significantly greater in the western states than those in SC. Most opinions of people who know the SC area give the edge to the clouds by a 60-40 margin that time of year. If I interpret things correctly."   

 

Fixed it.  

 

Most opinions of people who know the SC area give the edge to the clouds by a 60-40 margin that time of year if one is unwilling to relocate the day before and/or move the day of. I noticed the 3 days cloudy 3 days clear trend on the coast, similar on the piedmont.  However, if look at all of SC more like 1 day total state cloudy, 5 days part of state cloudy.  Plus being on the coast is slightly clearer than inland.  Finally am banking on much less cumulonimbus due to eclipse cooling.  If I interpret things correctly.  lol.gif


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#44 Joe1950

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 07:32 PM

Hopefully, the cooling will help. The unknown, however, is how easy will it be to relocate the day of, especially, if the area is in a state of gridlock. I don't want to be melodramatic, but it doesn't take a huge change, as someone mentioned, to really foul up the works. This is uncharted waters.

 

But, if you want to have any chance of seeing a total eclipse of the sun, you take the trip. If you don't go to the path of totality, your chances of seeing it are zero. frown.gif


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#45 Jim Haley

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:25 AM

When it comes to moving across the state, should be able to predict that 2 days in advance.  However, moving day of could be problematic.  That is why I chartered a boat to wisk me (and up to 5 others)  up/down coast to avoid cloud.  Won't have that last minute option if I end up in the NW corner of the state though.  frown.gif    But I do know someone who has a boat up there.  Wonder what they are doing eclipse day?lol.gif


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#46 Joe1950

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:35 PM

I'll tell ya Jim, if you don't get to see it, nobody in that area will. You have the bases pretty much covered.

 

I wonder, just for the fun of it, if there is a mountain anywhere along the path, for this or the next eclipse, that is above the clouds most of the time. shrug.gif  That would give good odds, I'd imagine.

 

That or a chartered airplane to fly along the path. Probably very expensive though.

 

But all the best of luck to everyone making the trip!!


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#47 Roger Corbett

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:17 AM

Go get under the shadow!  We are staying 30 minutes outside the eclipse path and will drive to our chosen spot early Mon. AM.  Lodging should be easy to find an hour or so off the path.

 

There has been a great deal of hoopla and hand-wringing about the millions of folks who will be there in the eclipse path but I have a problem with these predictions.  No such crowds ever showed up for a total eclipse in the history of mankind so I doubt very much this one will be all that different.  Human behavior tends to be pretty consistent over time and the eclipse that crossed central Europe 18 years ago from Paris to Istanbul, with a similar population in close proximity saw no such crowds or traffic jams.  I will plan for the worst but fully expect few to be on the road at 7am near the path of totality.  We will take a picnic and find a nice public park to enjoy the show.

 

Beg to differ!  We were caught in an incredible traffic jam in November, 1966 in Peru as much of the city of Lima poured out of it onto the main highway to get to the low-lying Andean hills, a half hour away.  Made sense as Lima is on the coast, which is socked in with clouds literally close to 10 months of the year (Humboldt current).  Tens of thousands experienced totality in their cars in a traffic jam!  We made a U-turn, and returned to the city where, wouldn't you know it, it was crystal clear!  We experienced the rest of the eclipse from our rooftop!

 

Still, an amazing experience!

 

Moral of the story:  Better to expect the worst, plan for it, and be pleasantly surprised than be stuck in traffic for what will be a once in a lifetime event (or, twice).   Arrive a day early, leave hours beforehand to the site, etc. 


Edited by Roger Corbett, 24 July 2017 - 08:18 AM.

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#48 Jim Haley

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:06 PM

Roger, just curious.... what time was totality and when did you (and the throngs of others) depart Lima?



#49 Bowmoreman

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:08 PM

"On the other hand, this is the place of the most visitation along the entire eclipse route, with a possible 97 million people in the area. Traffic before the eclipse could be quite bad. It is recommended to get to the area on Saturday or early Sunday."

 

I have seen those numbers.  What the 97 million means is if everybody, and I mean everybody went to the closest place along the path for them, this is where they would be.  So this basically says that if the entire state of Florida, and points above Florida up to the path of totality and everyone along the eastern seaboard including all your neighbors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, all of New England, etc., etc. decided to come, this is where they would go.  Certainly many will travel to see the eclipse.......but not 97 million converging on South Carolina.

 

Barry Simon

LOL

This New Englander and his wife and son will be doing the Eastern Tennessee locale instead. The thought of being anywhere NEAR I95 makes me gag, 24x7, every day of the year - anywhere on its entire length <shudder>.. wink.gif

More seriously, we're on our way back from a road trip to/from Texas from Massachusetts and our route is always down I81 then over to 75 and down through Birmingham Alabama and over on I20... so it's only logical to time the return so that we're in TN in that area the night before.

 

While we're staying in Cleveland TN Hampton Inn (on the 1 minute 20 second duration line), I plan to drive about 1 hour roughly north (on backroads) early the next AM to get to the eastern side of Watts Barr Lake - roughly across from Spring City (which is on the centerline). I'm operating on the theory that being on the eastern side of a pretty large body of water may help reduce clouds just a bit more than the broader area at large.

So that's Plan #1. Plans 2 and 3 are to travel further west (if weather shows it's better chanes) - all on back roads - to other areas over by Cookeville, or Carthage, etc... that are also in the relative "lee" of lakes... Gonna be up at 7AM get breakfast, check the weather and begin the "going mobile" route.

I'm going to have my detailed Tennessee map from GreatAmericanEclipse.com for the eclipse path, as well as my DeLorme map book, plus Cell/gps, etc... 

If - the night before - it looks like ALL of Tennessee is going to SUCK; I'm prepared to get up super early that AM and head as far as KY sites if I have to - all we have to do is get *back* to Cleveland to stay that night after the eclipse. So I can roam all that day if needed. It doesn't look like heading E/SE from there makes sense: limited roads, and it gets MORE into the mountains with increased cloudiness likely there. Though it's a 2:20 drive east to Franklin, NC area IF the weather powers-that-be suggest it would make sense to do so (that area makes me more nervous as there are less back road alternatives through the mountains) - that's a last "desperation" thought.

I like having the DeLorme map, cause it shows literally ever road and cart path. I'm pre-marking likely areas that have open road-side fields, etc... 

Frankly, I really don't see a LOT of people taking the super small, super back roads... Most ill-prepared out of staters will NOT have pre-thought to get a DeLorme map book.  I'm betting that is true of MOST areas...

Most people who haven't made their "plans yet" aren't going to plan all that well...

 


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#50 Cajundaddy

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:23 PM

 

Go get under the shadow!  We are staying 30 minutes outside the eclipse path and will drive to our chosen spot early Mon. AM.  Lodging should be easy to find an hour or so off the path.

 

There has been a great deal of hoopla and hand-wringing about the millions of folks who will be there in the eclipse path but I have a problem with these predictions.  No such crowds ever showed up for a total eclipse in the history of mankind so I doubt very much this one will be all that different.  Human behavior tends to be pretty consistent over time and the eclipse that crossed central Europe 18 years ago from Paris to Istanbul, with a similar population in close proximity saw no such crowds or traffic jams.  I will plan for the worst but fully expect few to be on the road at 7am near the path of totality.  We will take a picnic and find a nice public park to enjoy the show.

 

Beg to differ!  We were caught in an incredible traffic jam in November, 1966 in Peru as much of the city of Lima poured out of it onto the main highway to get to the low-lying Andean hills, a half hour away.  Made sense as Lima is on the coast, which is socked in with clouds literally close to 10 months of the year (Humboldt current).  Tens of thousands experienced totality in their cars in a traffic jam!  We made a U-turn, and returned to the city where, wouldn't you know it, it was crystal clear!  We experienced the rest of the eclipse from our rooftop!

 

Still, an amazing experience!

 

Moral of the story:  Better to expect the worst, plan for it, and be pleasantly surprised than be stuck in traffic for what will be a once in a lifetime event (or, twice).   Arrive a day early, leave hours beforehand to the site, etc. 

 

Yes well, there will surely be an isolated jam here or there but "millions stuck in traffic across the US" as predicted?  Never gonna happen.

We were in Lima last May and it is a city of perennial traffic jams 24/7/365 where signals and right of way are merely a suggestion.  We were out late for a show one night and at 1am the traffic was so stuck people were getting out of their cars to go and see what was causing it.  I would expect Lima Peru to be no different during an eclipse.

 

As we both agree, plan for the worst yet be able to move if weather dictates.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 24 July 2017 - 04:28 PM.

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