The day of the eclipse is finally here and the weather should be great. The only fly in the ointment I see is some high clouds from an upper level disturbance to our west.

As the sun was setting Sunday evening, you might have noticed some of these high wispy clouds showing up and this morning’s satellite loop clearly indicates high clouds moving east in the jet stream.

High clouds will move into the area today. Unisys Weather

High clouds don’t block out the sun completely, but they can change the way the disk of the sun appears, especially during an eclipse. As skies change between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., so will the way the sun appears to those hoping to view the eclipse in Maine.

The sun will not be completely covered by the Moon’s shadow today. Timeanddate.com

Another small factor will be smoke. Yes, smoke.  

There are wildfires burning in Canada and some of the smoke has been moving across our skies. There’s another pocket of smoke upstream which may give the sun a bit more of a reddish hue during the eclipse, especially over northern Maine.

Neither the smoke nor the cirrus clouds will block out the sun enough to prevent viewing, but each will make it a bit hazy for viewers.

Smoke will be in the air from Canadian wildfires today. NOAA

Remember, this is a partial solar eclipse in Maine so keep your expectations quite low. In spite of all the attention, it’s not going to be that big of a deal in this part of the country. It will become a bit less bright, but not anything where you’ll need to turn on your headlights or anything like that, and the temperature may fall a degree or two. In the parts of the country where this is a total eclipse, the mercury can fall nearly 10 degrees.

Take a walk in the woods during the eclipse and look at the leaves under the canopy of the trees. You will see projections of thousands of little eclipses on the leaves. This is a great way to get kids interested in science and safely watch the eclipse. Just don’t look up at the sun.

It won’t be too long before we have a total eclipse right here in New England. April 8, 2024, brings the path of totality through parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Of course, that time of year it’s more likely that it will be snow, not smoke, we’ll be talking about. Enjoy the show and use those protective glasses.

Follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom

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