wsls logo

Annular solar eclipse will dazzle for some on Thursday morning

Don’t get too excited; we explain why our local view won’t be as good as others’

Following May’s lunar eclipse, Americans will have another reason to look up Thursday morning as the moon passes over the sun as it rises for an annular eclipse.

ROANOKE, Va. – Following May’s lunar eclipse, Americans will have another reason to look up Thursday morning as the moon passes over the sun as it rises for an annular eclipse.

What exactly is an annular eclipse and how does it differ from a regular solar eclipse? Well, the moon will be further away from the sun during this particular eclipse and will not fully block the big yellow ball in the sky.

This is referred to as the “ring of fire” and it could look pretty cool up in Canada, especially because this event will be happening near sunrise.

Annular solar eclipse explainer (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

In the United States, the best we’ll have to look at is a partial annular eclipse.

The coverage of the sun will max out at 70 to 80-percent across the Northeast and Great Lakes states. Weather permitting, cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia could have a nice show.

Unfortunately, the coverage of the sun will be around 30-percent in Southwest and Central Virginia.

The eclipse is expected to begin at 4:40 a.m. with local sunrise coming at 5:59 a.m. The peak coverage will come two minutes later, then the eclipse will end at 6:28 a.m.

Partial annular eclipse local information (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

The lack of coverage of the sun probably has dampened your expectations for Thursday’s solar eclipse. Let me kill the mood a little more with the weather forecast (sorry, don’t shoot the messenger).

As you’re probably aware, we’re stuck in an active weather pattern in our corner of the Commonwealth. There have been storms around each day this week and the coverage of rain is projected to increase by Thursday.

Here’s a local projection of clouds, “future radar” and temperatures at sunrise Thursday.

Future Tracker Thursday 6 a.m. (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

As you can see, it’s not a good forecast for sky-watchers!

Now, we may get lucky and the clouds and/or rain may part just in time for the partial eclipse. The odds just aren’t great and I certainly wouldn’t bet on them.

I would suggest not adjusting your day around the possibility of seeing this, but hey, there may be some cool photos on social media from other parts of the country!

If you decide to try your luck at viewing the event, make sure you have eclipse glasses handy! It’s recommended to avoid viewing the sun directly for your eye health.


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.