Rarity of Solar Eclipse

Montana astronomy group travels to Idaho to view eclipse

Where will the total solar eclipse be visible? That means to never look at the sun without approved solar viewing glasses (beware of fake ones).

Unfortunately, Tucson is out of the path of totality but will enjoy a good partial eclipse.

If it's a clear day, regardless of your location: This is what we're rooting for. And in some areas, people will see the sun become completely covered by the moon's shadow. There's no need to splurge, however: You can order safe paper specs in bulk for as little as 90 cents each.

In 1991, a total solar eclipse was visible in Hawaii and parts of Mexico - not the Tri-State - but the eclipse-mania was still very real.

"The big thing is you want to get to a place where you can see the sun usually in the early morning hours", said Kief, suggesting a field or other open area. Meaning, it's tricky to just give a country-wide forecast in a few paragraphs.

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Some models started looking at the weather very far in advance, but Gross warned, those models often change drastically over time.

"Even though we thought we were planning far ahead, it wasn't far ahead compared to what some folks are doing", said Pellatt from the OR coast, en route to Madras, Ore. "They don't say 'Partly cloudy, high of 82.' You have to discern what the weather will be". Scientists said the 1991 eclipse would be "the best eclipse in 141 years".

As a science editor for Mashable, I know the ins and outs of what causes an eclipse, and how dark it will get if you are in the path of totality, which on Monday will cut a narrow swath from OR to SC.

Stay with WSLS Weather for your local forecast.

The Northern Senior Activity Center is offering a $10 trip to the James E. Richmond Science Center in Charles County for an eclipse watch and tour. Let us know in the comments.

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