I would not have called this thread "Doom and Gloom Predictions........", rather I would have called it "Realistic Planning based upon Hard Facts and Some Variables"
So what are the Hard Facts?
1) Given the world does not end, the eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21st of this year
2) Given that we have good data, and it is in concurence, we know what the path is, what time the eclipse starts and ends, and how long it will be at specific locations to a high degree of accuracy.
3) There is strong, strong interest in seeing the eclipse from the path of totality given numerous facts not the least of which is sold out hotels and motels within the path and close to it, as well as high prices at those hotels and motels. Other facts include the unavailability or short supply of various instruments and filters for viewing and photographing the eclipse. Special eclipse events at various venues within the path also attest to the strong interest.
4) Some school jurisdictions along the path of totality (Missouri for one) will already be back in session by eclipse day. That will help lessen traffic issues in those locations. Other school jurisdictions along the path of totality (Oregon for one) will not have started for the fall term. This will exacerbate traffic due to summer vacation and eclipse trips being in play.
5) Interest is growing (or being fanned) by a recent up tic in media coverage (and will continue to grow) as we approach eclipse day.
6) Weather, being unpredictable, is a variable, but it is a hard fact that at places along the path, people will be scrambling for clear skies. This will be a problem in many areas and in particular high population density areas.
7) Many people have made a plan - where, and with what equipment and with who. Additionally many know they also need a fairly detailed alternate plan (or several) as well.
8) Many people have not made a plan - they do not know where, they don't really know how to view or photograph and with what people they will be going. They will "wing it".
9) Surprisingly many people have heard "total eclipse" and they think they will see a total eclipse from virtually anywhere in the United States. I have explained the eclipse to a number of friends and relatives and have tried to set them straight on just what they will be seeing (and only if they have proper filtration) from where I live. Here the Sun will be 75% blocked by the Moon. Additional people will make last minute attempts to move into the zone of totality.
So what are the Variables?
1) At all locations along the path we are too far out to reliably predict what the weather will be on eclipse day.
2) Due to the above - we don't know if we will have last minute changes in our plans requiring scrambles to other locations.
3) We really don't know what problems we may encounter along the road to a Plan B, or C or D location
4) We are not 100% sure if there will be any last minute surprises with our reservations.
5) Many still have viewing and/or photography plans which are still in flux.
6) We don't know, in many cases, exactly where we will set up to watch or photograph the eclipse and what crowds and amenities might be there even with our primary plan.
At least a few of these facts and variables apply to everyone and some have concerns and questions about virtually everything listed. At least this makes everything interesting and exciting. Kind of reminds me of hurricane preparation at home - going to Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowes and scurrying around for supplies with everyone else. There is an electricity and excitement in the air, kind of fun in a weird sort of way.
Edited by BarrySimon615, 22 July 2017 - 06:03 PM.