Weather Risks In the Eclipse Zone: Now Until 3pm Monday

Let's talk about the entire weather situation near and along the path of the eclipse tomorrow. 

Path of the eclipse pertinent to these forecasts.
There are going to be multiple hazards and given the reports of impromptu camping, etc., all of this becomes pertinent.

Severe Thunderstorms

Keep in mind that a "severe thunderstorm" is one with 1" or larger hail and/or wind gusts of 50 knots (which is 58 mph) or higher. The Storm Prediction Center uses a 5-level system for conveying these risks. 

For this afternoon and tonight, there is marginal chance (a 1 on the scale of 5) of severe thunderstorms in the dark green area.

Tomorrow -- the day of the eclipse -- the risk of severe thunderstorms increases. 
The yellow is a 2 on the scale of 5 with the darker green area still a 1. 

So, even though clouds are a problem, there is a safety issue with lightning, high winds and hail while caught in rural areas where there are few buildings for shelter. A car is adequate protection from lightning, high winds and hail (although the latter can ruin your windshield). If intense lightning is in the area, I recommend not touching the car's interior. 

And, there is yet another hazard. The NWS is forecasting a "slight" (level 2 on a 4 level scale) risk of flash flooding in the yellow area Monday.

Since so many people will be driving in unfamiliar areas, I highly recommend the AccuWeather app for your smartphone. When you install it, "allow" it to use location services. That way, it will follow you and provide storm warnings wherever you happen to be (provided there is a cell signal). 

I'll have a separate cloud forecast later this morning. 


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