CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - While the exact path and timing of the solar eclipse on August 21st are well known, there is considerable uncertainty about the weather conditions that day.
That's a problem, because the weather will be crucial in order to enjoy the ultimate eclipse experience.
The fewer clouds the better when it comes to watching an eclipse. The amount of sky darkening and the temperature change are the most dramatic under clear skies. If skies are overcast, the eclipse won't be visible and the change in temperatures and light will not be nearly as impressive.
It's still too early to start getting specific about the weather conditions on the day of the eclipse. What we can do however is look at what's happened in the past. The North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies did an analysis of afternoon cloud cover on August 21st between 2001 and 2010. Cloud observations from weather stations across the country were used for this study. The chance of skies being clear enough to view the eclipse was then calculated for each station.
The study clearly shows that best place to view the eclipse will likely be in the western United States rather than the eastern United States. Drier air leads to fewer clouds and storms out west while more humid conditions in the east lead to more clouds.
Taking a closer look at Cincinnati, it's not good news. Over the ten year period, mostly cloudy skies were the most common sky condition at 2 p.m. on August 21st at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, the city's official weather station. Clear skies occurred less than 5 percent of the time. Based on this, the chance of the solar eclipse being visible in Cincinnati only comes in at 42.9 percent. To put it another way, while it's close to a 50/50 chance, it's slightly more likely we will NOT see the eclipse in Cincinnati.
Don't despair just yet though. If we can just get partly cloudy to clear skies the afternoon of the eclipse, we'll still be in for an impressive sight. We'll be monitoring the forecast for the eclipse very closely and will give you daily updates as soon as August 21st appears on the seven day forecast.