ECLIPSE ALERT- THE CHASE IS ON FOR TOTALITY!
August 20, 2017, 8 AM MST
It’s much like chasing pow but if I had the choice I would prefer to be sinking in the deep somewhere with endless faceshots. That said there has not been a total eclipse in the United States since 1979 so it’s chase time for Powderchaser Steve. An eclipse chase is even trickier with cloud percentages but regardless there is no “eclipse skunk”as it’s going to happen regardless. Your skunk will be clouds that obscure visibility. This map is a rough estimate on expected percentages of cloud cover. If your in a higher percentage area it does not necessarily mean the eclipse will be obscured by clouds. Cloud forecasts have many variables so it’s a numbers game of odds based on the latest data with medium confidence.
Many of the low to even medium percentage areas may only develop high cirrus clouds that still deliver good viewing. Smoke from the wildfires over much of the inter mountain west could pose issues but on the other hand present some outstanding colors. I expect cloudy conditions in a good portion of central and southern Idaho early Monday with clearer skies to the west over Jackson and most of Wyoming. Most of morning clouds over Idaho should clear out by mid morning with the exception of extreme southwestern regions of the lower Snake River near the Wyoming border(Low risk of thin high clouds lingering). Wyoming sees a narrow band of high clouds push quickly from the north through most of the Jackson Valley in the morning. It appears that it may end up south of the line of totality. Its still a good chase but I favor the line of totality and north. Areas further south bear slightly higher risk with a narrow band of high thin clouds. I currently like areas from Jackson and north but chases south should deliver with marginally less visibility perhaps? Most of central Idaho through Oregon will stand the highest chances of perfection!
Nebraska bears high risk where southern Wyoming shows higher confidence. Nebraska may still have good viewing on the western sections of the State near the Colorado border but areas further east are likely to be cloudy.
This will be our last post on the eclipse. Snow forecasts will ramp up again October/November. We are only 60-90 days out from winter buzz!
The 2045 Eclipse is expected to take a direct path from northern Florida through the intermountain region of the West (Denver, Salt Lake), and northern California. In 2024, areas along New England through the Southeast reap rewards!