I left a more full account here... https://www.cloudyni...dpost&p=8063955
Briefly, we were near Rocheport MO. 2 miles south of I-70 and 2 miles north of the MO River, and 10 miles west of Columbia. We had a great viewing site,...but....
Cirrus built during the partial phase and a lower cloud band became more persistent starting about 15 min before totality. Really began to mess with visual views and totally skunked my scripted cam/scope.
Ended up with a few badly clouded blurry shots at my longest exposure times.
Miraculously, we got about a 6-7 second 'window during mid-totality, the suddenness of which floored our group of 20. Another dark cloud shrouded the rest of totality until the moment the Diamond Ring appeared at C3. It was stunning......but the weather stole the show.
BIg temp drop going into totality...at least 15 degree drop, and a stiff breeze kicked up suddenly making it feel even cooler. I swore it was about to rain during totality.
As fast as that weather came in, within 20 min post-totality, the clouds and wind were GONE and it was sunny, hot, and humid again.
It was physically and emotionally draining experience, and my family swore we'd be somewhere on the center line on April 8, 2024.....
I hear you. I was southwest of you a bit. Got to Boonville around 8am and things looked pretty good there, but really wanted to get further south to avoid the potential encroachment of low/mid-level stuff from the north. Decided to jog down state highway 5 and potentially get to Jeff City, but along the way found a nice roadside park near Bunceton and since I knew I needed a couple of hours to set up just decided to take the chance there--it was blue sky with some wispy cirrus stuff around, so looked pretty decent compared to my original plans to be in Doniphan County KS (west of St Joe).
After I had stuff set up and maybe 20 mins before C1, the **** thunderstorm development to the southwest started encroaching on where we were and looked like it wasn't going to clear out. By then it was getting too late to move and I didn't really see anywhere within driving distance at that late hour that looked much better. If I hadn't planned on using so much equipment and only cared about viewing totality I'd have probably been more willing to just hop in the car and drive around looking for better skies. But I wanted the full C1->C4 experience (and to photograph it) so I just wasn't prepared for a last minute scramble.
By the time C1 started, the sun was visible through the clouds and mist, but my pre-programmed SEM script exposures were all based on clear sky and so I didn't even load the script. I put the cams on Av and just used my remote releases to occasionally snap photos of the partial phases. Some are usable, some are not. At many points from C1->C2 lower clouds partially or completely blocked the sun.
I was very fortunate that the entire totality was visible though. There was a hole in the lower clouds that allowed us to view it through the higher stuff. I ran my SEM emergency script (in hindsight I didn't spend nearly enough time making a better emergency script) so I got a couple of decent photos during totality.
But I know the corona would have been so much better (and my photos of it so much better) if I hadn't had to view it through clouds. So I've got this weird cognitive dissonance where I know I should feel grateful that at least I got to see totality, and I do. I observed the corona and even saw some prominences through binoculars. And I got a couple of photos I can severely tweak in PS and maybe get something usable.
But in terms of what I'd been planning (and what I know others in better weather got to see) I feel a lot of let-down as well. I think all the more so because as of 9am I thought I'd successfully evaded the cloud cover, only to have it crawl back over me when it was too late. It was just so demoralizing.
Thank God we get a do-over. For 2024 I will spend much more time contingency planning (not only in terms of actual plans but just mentally as well). I basically spent all my free time this summer planning for this eclipse, but never once did "what will I do if it's cloudy" enter my mind. That was a mistake, because if I'd been more prepared for the conditions I ended up with on Monday I could have salvaged more decent photos and also just focused on enjoying the experience I was able to get rather than stewing about how mother nature screwed me over on a day I'd been anticipating for five years.
Live and learn!