Total solar eclipse soon in US, Mexico, Canada

Across the US, Mexico, and Canada, excitement is building as people secure their spots to experience a rare total solar eclipse, despite concerns that cloudy skies might obscure the view. This astronomical event, occurring when the moon precisely aligns between the Earth and the sun to block out sunlight, will be visible in these countries on April 8. It marks a significant occasion as North America will not witness another coast-to-coast total solar eclipse for another 21 years, drawing millions across the continent to observe the spectacle.

The eclipse’s path, known as the path of totality, will stretch approximately 115 miles (185 km) wide, traversing 15 US states from Texas to Maine in a northeast direction. The event will last around an hour, starting at 1:30 pm CT and concluding about 3:35 pm ET. Among the eager viewers is Jorge Martinez from Mesquite, near Dallas, who plans to share this historic moment with his wife and 3-year-old daughter, Nati, from their home.

In southern Texas, near Ennis, the Range Vintage trailer resort has been fully booked for over a year, with visitors like Chris Lomas coming from afar to join the communal experience, undeterred by the possibility of cloudy skies. Eclipse enthusiast and mapmaker Michael Zeiler, who has chased 11 solar eclipses, seeks clear skies for the perfect view but opts to stay in Fredericksburg, Texas, this time, hopeful for good weather amidst a family gathering.

An estimated 31.6 million people live in the path of totality, a figure nearly triple that of the 2017 eclipse. This path is notably longer and wider than usual, a result of the moon being closer to Earth, thus casting a larger shadow. Weather concerns loom large, particularly at the Buffalo naval and military park, where volunteers have already welcomed visitors from various states and countries, all hoping for clear skies.

Forecasts suggest mixed conditions along the eclipse route, with northern New England and Canada offering the best chances for clear views. Texas might face the most significant cloud cover, with severe weather predicted in some areas around the time of the eclipse. However, for those whose views are hindered by weather, online broadcasts by NASA and other organizations provide an alternative way to witness the event. Weather experts suggest that, while not ideal, the eclipse could still be visible through thin, high clouds in some regions, from Dallas to Columbus, offering hope to those under less than perfect conditions.

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