Before we begin, take a good look at the image below:

Photo Credit:

You can see here that the probability of good weather for the October partial eclipse ranges from extremely poor (<20%) to fairly good (60-80%) here in NC, depending on your location. That’s a lot of unpredictability for a prediction!

I hope that the following scenario doesn’t play out for any of us: 
Saturday, October 14th, dawns with loads of clouds in the Northwestern sky. “Red sky at morning”, and all that. Of course, at this point you’ll have to gather some data. 

If the NWS has posted severe thunderstorm warnings beginning at Noon local time. You’ll have some decisions to make. If you’re hosting or attending a strictly outdoor event, your choices are fairly straightforward. However, it’s much more likely that the weather decision will be a bit more subtle. Let’s think this through.

For those of you hosting an event and looking to salvage some portion of your hard work over the past few weeks, this is where multi-faceted presentations will help save the day. There are many activities that can be done that do not require the Sun! If you’re a Trail Partner attending the Eclipse Forum, we’ll delve into these ideas more fully at the zoom meeting on September 13th. (My favorite of these features chocolate wafers with fluffy filling, showing the stages of an eclipse.)

If you’re looking to attend an event and the weather is putting a damper on things, call to ask what the weather plans are so you can prepare. You could be one of the lucky individuals playing with chocolate wafers while it storms outside.

One important feature of this upcoming eclipse is that it will be livestreamed, so no matter what the weather will be, all audiences can watch the complete eclipse unfold in real time as they’re watching the one outside, weather permitting. Here are four of the most reliable livestreams for this event:

  1. From the, in San Francisco:

The eclipse stream will be top link on this page Oct 14, 2023.

  1. From, Goddard Space Flight Center, MD:

The eclipse stream will be top link on this page Oct 14, 2023.

  1. From Griffith Observatory, in Los Angeles:

The eclipse stream will be top link on this page Oct 14, 2023.

  1. From, in the Canary Islands: Ring of Fire Annular Eclipse – LIVE at Slooh. 

Since they’re not all broadcasting from the same location, the livestream you select may require some previewing.

Finally, for event planning purposes, if you have been involved with the NC Science Festival’s Statewide Star Parties in the past, then you are likely well equipped to make rational decisions about weather and safety. 

Amy Sayle, from Morehead Planetarium, gave this advice on the eve of last year’s star party, in an email sent to the host sites: 

“Have you checked your forecast during the hours of your event? Remember that predicted timing for rain or clouds can shift as the date approaches. At Morehead, we usually don’t think about rescheduling an outdoor-only event until it’s within 24 hours.    

I’m a fan of the National Weather Service site, especially their graphical hourly forecasts for Precipitation Potential and Sky Cover (don’t confuse it with the line for Relative Humidity!). Know that references in their written forecasts to “Night” sometimes mean the hours after midnight—well after your event. Some folks also like Clear Sky Charts. Are you working with astronomers? Ask them for their favorite forecast sites and advice.

In our experience, most members of the public are easy to please astronomy-wise, and will be happy with anything short of completely overcast or raining. In other words, don’t cancel your event for a few clouds, especially if you have indoor activities to offer. Obviously, if you expect rain or lightning at an outdoor-only event, that’s a different matter. “-Amy Sayle, Morehead Planetarium

I will leave you all with this parting thought. If you’re hosting for the eclipse, effective planning for this event must take nature into account. If you’re attending an event, remember that event hosts cannot control the weather, but we are working to make a great event for you under all scenarios.

A well-thought out plan will reap benefits for all come eclipse day!