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Totality: Which states were a success and which were a bust?

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#101 RonH47


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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:35 AM

Arkansas! We had only very thin high clouds that cleared about an hour before the eclipse started on Greers Ferry Lake. Great time and great people too!


Well worth the day and a half drive to and from.

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#102 BobInBaltimore


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Posted 14 April 2024 - 02:27 PM

I was 100 yards from the NH border in Vermont. A five minute drive south of Colebrook NH.


Virtualy clear skies all day. 

Hey! Sorry I missed you. I was at the south end of Colebrook, parked in the liquor store parking lot with about 150 other zealots. Or did I meet you? I talked to somebody about Cloudy Nights.


In any case it was clear as a bell. We picked the site, having canceled 9-month old reservations in Mason, TX. 3 days out we had planned to go to Burlington, but changed our minds. (windy.com is an incredible site!) We knew Burlington was going to be hit with high clouds. Almost went to Newport, NH,  but decided it was like to get those high clouds right about C2. So we went 30 miles farther east to Colebrook. We got it right! Crystal clear with high clouds approaching. They hit about 30 min or so after C3. Reports are that it hit Newport right at C2.


The attached image was captured about 5 minutes after C3. You can see the approaching clouds.

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#103 Sly2001



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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:27 PM

We had some thin cirrus clouds in Columbus, Indiana, but we still got a pretty good view. It sounds like a much smaller portion of the path had perfect skies this time, as opposed to 2017, which doesn’t surprise me considering the time of year. What does surprise me is the fact that northern New England, of all places, had some of best viewing conditions. I guess it just shows the difference between climate and weather.

#104 PhotonHunter1



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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:27 PM

New Castle IN, Farmers Pike Festival grounds. Great location and owners. Live music from 1-3. Great skies!

#105 The Raptor

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 06:34 PM

We drove from La Crescenta, CA (suburb of LA) to Dallas, almost 3,000 miles round trip, and stayed with friends in Frosco (suburb of Dallas) to see the eclipse through my 8" Meade LX200.  A lot of driving, but well worth it.  A few patchy clouds, but totality was completely clear.  Our 10th solar eclipse (Roundup, MT; Cabo San Lucas; Catalina Island, CA; Aruba; Munich; Puerto Vallarta; St. George, UT; Salem, OR; Richfield, UT; and Frisco, TX).

#106 gene


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Posted 14 April 2024 - 07:41 PM

Schroon Lake, Upstate NY. A success! Occasional thin clouds. 54 seconds of totality.

#107 ewomack


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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:22 PM

I was at the Indy 500 Speedway in Indianapolis along with around 50,000 people and the skies were just fine for viewing. After seeing a 97% eclipse outside of St. Louis in 2017 (on top of Monk's Mound in Cahokia, which was a fantastic experience itself), I now know that totality makes a huge difference. It looked like a fiery hole punched in the sky. Amazing.


This was the best I could do for a photo. It actually turned out better than I thought it would. I only brought a mobile with. Plus, I didn't want to waste the 4 minutes of totality fooling with cameras.




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#108 Bill Weir

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 11:30 PM

At 240km off the coast of Mexico and amongst the very first to witness the TSE we had perfect skies and were told that we experienced the longest period of totality. I was sceptical at first but after reviewing the vid I shot it looked to be around 4m 40s. The coordinates and time were given by the Captain.


I think I was the only one on the ship to have brought an H-alpha scope. Might have also been the only real scope also. Actually did regular solar outreach the whole cruise.





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#109 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 01:48 AM

Boris and I observed NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) on Sunday night (actually Monday morning) through his 85mm and my 101mm Tele Vue refractors.  My wife got to see Omega Centauri for the first time through a telescope that night.

#110 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 01:52 AM

Another report from Aquilla, TX (Texas Star Party): Wasn't there for Friday (showed up on Saturday early afternoon), Saturday nite observing was a bust with very windy conditions, tho the first couple of hours were ok, even had a chance to spot comet Pons-Brooks north-west of Jupiter right after sunset. Sunday nite was a great night of observing all around, but the entire weekend going into Monday was weather suspense / drama - large storms were moving in Monday afternoon, with severe thunderstorms and even a tornado advisory at some point. For the eclipse, Monday was a mix of clouds and sun, but we really didn't know if it will pan out until it was happening. And it did, absolutely glorious! Had about 45 seconds of totality "stolen" by a corner of one low (fast moving) cloud, tho arguably it made it actually better with the view of totality blaring right through it. Absolutely breathtaking experience! Glad I took that chance and traveled halfway across the country to Texas Star Party! Tent camping under some trees right on the edge of observing field was awesome. The last evening of the event, after the eclipse and before the massive storms came, we got relocated to some cabin-style dorms at the base of the event site (which was booked from some youth summer camp) - saved me from flying back with wet camping gear. Very memorable trip!

Boris and I observed NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) on Sunday night (actually Monday morning) through his 85mm and my 101mm Tele Vue refractors.  My wife got to see Omega Centauri for the first time through a telescope that night.

#111 Alen K

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:17 AM

Simcoe, Ontario was mostly clear during the entire event, most importantly during totality (three minutes duration at that location). There were a few high, thin, wispy, clouds now and then but nothing that spoiled the view or my photographs. So, success. According to reports from friends, the same can basically be said for most locations west of there along the north shore of Lake Erie, including Long Point, Port Burwell, Port Stanley and Erieau. One friend reported heavier clouds at Wheatley near Point Pelee but I don’t think they were bad enough to be called a bust.

#112 winstar


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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:43 AM

Southern, IL near Vienna (pronounced VIE-Enna not VEE-Enna we were told, and they don’t have a Vienna Philharmonic but they do have a decent Tex-mex restaurant called El Tequila where they play classical rock!)

Just a few wisps of cirrus on 4/8 and a stunning eclipse! Experienced the usual mix of elation, awe, and relief and was happy to have a telescope with me this time.

#113 Alan D. Whitman

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:46 AM

A year ago I booked a small house just outside of the path in San Antonio, Texas. Being ancient retirees, my wife and I planned a zigzag road trip with my Mustang of several weeks duration from our home in British Columbia. The car still has only got 18,000 km on it although it's four years old, and I am desperate for a long road trip -- it hasn't been anywhere except down to Nevada for October's annular eclipse. But various posts on Cloudynights from Texans saying that people were not welcome to stop and view from the side of country roads put me off, and I got a full refund on the San Antonio house.


My wife and I still planned to drive to wherever on the path northeast of Texas that the weather might require, and we had an invitation to observe with relatives in Indianapolis. But then she got dementia. (She is 82, five years older than me.) So the road trip was off, but our daughter volunteered to come from Chicago to look after her mother for five days so that I could still eclipse-chase briefly, with a direct flight from Kelowna to Toronto and return.


I invited myself to join a Brit and his wife in Niagara Falls -- we had chased together for several previous total and annular eclipses, and we had booked a year ago for Luxor, Egypt's 2027 long totality. I paid for my Niagara Falls hotel room in advance; they had just reserved theirs, at a good rate in September. A day after I booked and paid for my room, their hotel cancelled their reservation so that the hotel could rent the room at a much higher rate to some of the million people forecast to descend on Niagara Falls. So we decided to all stay in my hotel room, unusual perhaps but we are flexible people.


Many days before totality it was obvious that Niagara Falls weather would be shaky at best so he and I planned to leave for Quebec on the morning of the 7th. His wife stayed behind in Niagara Falls because she had friends coming from Maryland to meet her there. We enjoyed the festive atmosphere in Niagara Falls, but at 77 I couldn't manage the entire walk from our hotel room, to across from the American Falls, to the Horseshoe Falls in the distance, so I had to flag down a taxi and return to the hotel. (I had been to the Falls five times before, but not for half a century.)


So the Niagara Falls hotel room that I had paid for, for four nights (at twice the rate that it was for the following week) was only used by me for one night -- that's eclipse-chasing. I was loathe to pay for a room somewhere in Quebec in advance that might not be used either, since there was a slight chance that the clouds advancing from the west behind the upper ridge might force us to drive all night to New Brunswick (where I have a sister that we could have stayed with).


I figured that there would probably be hotel rooms available in the part of Montreal that was north of the path; failing that, we could sleep in Ottawa. We got a room in Trois Rivieres where the hotels were empty. 


We drove down to Lac Megantic on eclipse morning, and enjoyed the eclipse under superbly transparent skies. There were 62 cars at our observing spot in a small park, mainly family groups from Quebec City, and I had the only telescope so I did a lot of outreach during the partial phase. Nobody that we talked to had seen totality before, so they were full of questions. One woman proved excellent at making pinhole crescent suns with her crossed fingers. We saw shadow bands on a snowbank just before totality. I loudly pointed out Venus, Jupiter, the approaching shadow, and the naked-eye prominence. The streamers of the sunspot maximum corona were wonderful in my Canon 15x50 image stabilized binoculars.


At totality the high cirrus clouds were only three degrees high in the west; but the declining Sun met the rising clouds at 6 PM, just as was very accurately forecast days in advance!


My wife fell and broke her hip and elbow on the morning of the 9th (about when I was driving through morning rush hour in Montreal) and I learned about this just as we began driving through afternoon rush hour in Toronto. So I changed my flight out of Toronto to that evening (at considerable expense), and arrived home in my driveway at 3:40 am EDT.


I still have not wound down from the eclipse-chase as I sit in her hospital room reading the thousands of eclipse-chasing posts on Cloudynights.


But I am very much enjoying not spending three hours a day studying weather forecasts!

Edited by Alan D. Whitman, 15 April 2024 - 11:04 AM.

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#114 bunyon


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Posted 15 April 2024 - 11:04 AM

The relief of not watching the weather in the days after the eclipse was large. I'm glad you got more minutes in totality and hope your wife has a full and rapid recovery. 

#115 sgopal2


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Posted 15 April 2024 - 11:50 AM

Plano TX (suburb of Dallas): Total success!


I was nervously watching the forecast for several days prior. Clouds were expected in the afternoon, and the forecaster said that they normally disperse around mid-day. South of Dallas there were expected to be heavy cloud cover. The morning of April 8, I couldn't sleep so I got up early and drove around. Very clear skies. But by 10 am, a bunch of low-lying clouds rolled in. It was too late to try and relocate. The forecast wasn't good in any other directions either.


So decided to stay locally. We found a public park in Plano TX (Windhaven Meadows Park) and setup our chairs and waited. The clouds cleared up about an hour before totality. There were a few scattered clouds but the view was spectacular. Even better than what I witnessed in 2017. I had other friends in Rochester, Syracuse and San Antonio who were completely clouded out. So I am very grateful.

#116 6opuc9


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Posted 15 April 2024 - 03:36 PM

Boris and I observed NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) on Sunday night (actually Monday morning) through his 85mm and my 101mm Tele Vue refractors.  My wife got to see Omega Centauri for the first time through a telescope that night.

Dave, it was very nice meeting you and your wife at TSP. This was also my first time seeing Omega Centauri, as I normally am at pretty high latitudes. Incredibly memorable night of observing preceding the eclipse!

#117 jcruse64



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Posted 15 April 2024 - 09:04 PM

Ballard County WMA in extreme western/north KY was excellent. Little in the way of clouds, tons of wide-open space to observe a large view of the 360 degree sundown effect, and lots of birds/waterfowl to observe and listen to as they reacted to the celestial event. almost 3.5 minutes of totality.

#118 Katharine


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Posted 15 April 2024 - 09:40 PM

Success in Sulphur Springs, TX!  (Anyone else there?)  Some clouds during the partial phase, but few enough that we got to see everything we wanted to see, since we weren't viewing continuously at that point.  Consistent thin clouds during totality, but easy to see through.  By a minute after totality was over, perfectly clear skies.  lol.gif


I got to the park where I was viewing early, and since I'd gotten up early, decided to take a nap in the car for an hour or two.  Woke up at one point, looked like drizzle outside and my heart fell.  Woke up later, it was lovely.


Don't know that I could have asked for a more perfect trip, considering all the things I was nervous about ahead of time... flights went fine, car rental place had plenty of cars and the wait wasn't that long, drive from and back to airport went fine, liked my hotel and my room and the breakfast was nicer than I expected, nice weather until thunderstorms overnight on Monday night (fine by me), the park where I was viewing was nice, the people I was viewing near were nice, nowhere I went was nearly as packed as I expected it to be, no sunburn even though my sunscreen was on the verge of expiration, weather was gorgeous.  Probably the worst thing that happened-- besides not seeing as many planets as I'd hoped, and no comet-- was that I wasn't as impressed by the Mexican restaurant where I had Monday's dinner as I'd hoped to be, and the day I tried to sit by the hotel pool and couldn't because people and their kids were taking up all the chairs by putting their towels on them while they themselves were in the pool.



I hear Michigan was also a success... no totality but near to it, lovely clear weather, and people I talked to were impressed.

#119 Usquebae



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Posted 16 April 2024 - 02:25 PM

Poplar Bluff Missouri in the house! Great skies, not perfect, but I cannot complain.


16 hour drive for me, gambled and won.

I targeted Poplar Bluff several years ago, but wanted to keep options open, so decided to book a path-adjacent vacation.  My wife found a cabin in Saulsbury, TN that is ~3 hrs from several prime places (Carbondale, Russellville, Poplar Bluff).  When we left Vermont on Friday, the situation was bleak.  Against historical odds, it appeared VT would be clearer than MO.  But we decided to stay with the historical odds (and keep our pre-paid vacation accommodations).  On Monday morning, around 9am in SE Missouri, we were driving through some of the densest fog I've ever seen.  But the eclipse was clear (apart from high whispy clouds) for its entirety, including over 4 minutes of totality.  We enjoyed the show with our pooch from the Poplar Bluff dog park.  And we had no traffic issues getting back to Saulsbury.


Very glad everything worked out for us, and I am equally glad so many people on the arc from Indianapolis to Houlton got clear skies.  A rare thing in April!  What great fortune for all of us! laugh.gif

Edited by Usquebae, 16 April 2024 - 02:26 PM.

#120 thesungazer



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Posted 18 April 2024 - 11:20 AM

Pittsburg, NH. Beautiful, clear skies all day. Solar telescopes and friendly locals made this experience just as good for me as 2017 (maybe even better).



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Edited by thesungazer, 18 April 2024 - 11:23 AM.

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#121 lewdwig


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Posted 20 April 2024 - 08:10 PM

San Saba, TX.  My initial plan was Llano, but the weather forecast showed clouds forming at the Gulf and traveling northward, so the clouds would arrive in San Saba maybe an hour later.  Cumulus clouds showed up about 10 minutes before totality.  A massive "awe" as the sun vanished in the clouds, followed by "yay" as the sun reappeared seconds later.  So, about 50% cloud cover throughout the rest of the eclipse and many awes and yays from the several hundred people in the park.  Had a good time.

#122 Bob W4

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 04:21 PM

14 miles north of Leakey, Texas. 98% bust.  A thin high layer of broken alto cumulus with thick low level cumulus steadily increased giving up only brief glimpses after C1.  During totality, we mostly sat silently in the dark, but saw maybe 15 - 20 seconds of partially obscured totality through passing holes in the lower cloud layer.  Nighttime skies were excellent and group comraderie was fantastic.

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Edited by Bob W4, 21 April 2024 - 04:32 PM.

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