Thunderstorm Chances and Eclipse Forecast

Good Saturday,

We have an important forecast for Monday as we experience the rare total solar eclipse.  Before we get to that we have a weekend forecast and there is a chance of thunderstorms Sunday.

So, let’s go through the forecast.

SATURDAY: This is going to be a great day to head to the pool with sunshine, highs around 90° and a light wind.  Too bad the eclipse is not today.


SUNDAY MORNING: We will be tracking scattered thunderstorms coming in from the west around 3-5 AM.  We do not expect flooding or severe weather, but there could be a few heavy downpours and big flashes of lightning.


SUNDAY MORNING: There will be scattered thunderstorms around until about noon.  Some locations may see .25″ to 1″ of rain, while other see a trace or none.


SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The rain chance drops to about 20% to 30% as it will be partly cloudy, warm and humid with highs in the 80s.


Ok, now to the eclipse.

This is the timing for the Kansas City area.  We will reach the maximum at 1:08 PM, but the event lasts about three hours.


Here are the percentages across the USA, it is pretty cool that we are near the 100%.  Chicago is close to 90%.


Here is a closer look into the KC area on the eclipse details.  I will be happy on the Plaza, as I will be at 41 Action News, at about 99.8% as the last eclipse I saw was in 3rd grade, 1979.  KC was not close to the totality, but I remember a dusky look to the sky.


The length of totality in downtown KC will be about 40 seconds, while right on the line it will be 2:40.  Enjoy every second.


If you are in the 99% region, it will still be darn cool and likely pretty dark.


MONDAY 11:41 AM: As we predicted 55 days ago, we said there would be a chance of clouds.  This is not a cop out forecast as you can see this is what we are facing.  There is no big organized system and there is no particular region that will be totally free of clouds.  Now, that being said, as we get into the day, we will be able to better pinpoint the clear and more clouded areas.


MONDAY AT TOTALITY: Yes, there are clouds, but this depiction is just the latest data and not set in stone.  So, you could make a decision to move based on this, but that could end up being a worse choice.  So, I would stay the course.


Should you drive to Nebraska?  What about central or southeast Missouri? The answer for me is no, as you can see there will be scattered clouds around in all the states, so it is nearly impossible in this weather set up to pinpoint the exact location and timing of the cloud areas.  This is not like forecasting the position of the sun, moon and Earth.

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ECLIPSE SUMMARY: So, the entire event lasts about three hours and wear protective glasses the whole time.  Yes, you can take the glasses off during totality, but it is so brief, and timing it perfectly is hard and not worth the risk.  You can see the eclipse image on the ground from leaf shadows.  Also, if you are in a clear area during the totality in the totality location you may see shimmering shadows.  This is the sun rays passing through the topography of the moon.  The temperature may drop a few degrees, you might be able to see Mercury or even Neptune.  Will animals be disoriented?  There are all sorts of things to observe.  Enjoy the experience and do not be stressed if some clouds move by as it will be incredible no matter what, just as long as there is not a thick low overcast.  We do not expect that to occur.

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Have a great weekend and we will have an update Sunday.

Jeff Penner

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1 comment to Thunderstorm Chances and Eclipse Forecast

  • Hi Gary from Lori

    Thank you Jeff for this informative post. I feel better about my Eclipse plans.

    I used to work in the production department there. All the best to the KSHB Weather team.