The Great American Eclipse of 2017 is coming to the Carolinas - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 is coming to the Carolinas


ARE YOU EXCITED? The "Great American Eclipse of 2017" is coming Monday, August 21. If only for a few minutes, the moon will block 95 to 98% of the southeastern North Carolina sun... and 100% obscurity (i.e. a total solar eclipse) will happen not too far away! Here, your First Alert Weather Team show you exactly what you can expect from the "Great American Eclipse of 2017."

WHAT THE ECLIPSE MEANS FOR THE CAROLINAS… Between 2:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon of August 21, all of the Carolinas (save a small sliver of far northeastern North Carolina) will have a period of at least 90% sun obscurity. The swath for a total eclipse (again, think: 100% sun obscurity) will be roughly from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Charleston, South Carolina Metro Area.

LET'S GET SPECIFIC TO THE LOWER CAPE FEAR REGION... Find your county and town on the eclipse map / diagram. Note that the vast majority of the region will get more than 95% obscurity with this eclipse! Also note: the eclipse will start subtly between 1:15 and 1:20 p.m., reach an unmistakable peak between 2:45 and 2:50 p.m., and finally end between 4:15 and 4:20 p.m.

THINKING OF TRAVELING TO A SPOT WITH 100% OBSCURITY? The closest spot to Wilmington that will experience 100% sun obscurity – a total eclipse – is Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The closest towns along interstate highways are Turbeville and Lugoff, South Carolina, along Interstates 95 and 20, respectively. The nearest North Carolina town to Wilmington that will have a total eclipse is Brevard, along Highway 64 in the mountains – a good 5+ hours away.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER USUALLY LIKE ON AUGUST 21? Historical weather data suggests approximately a 72% chance that skies will be clear enough to view the eclipse in southeastern North Carolina. Skies are most commonly “partly cloudy” or “variably cloudy” on August afternoons. In rare cases – and we certainly hope against such cases here in 2017 – strong fronts and / or tropical systems can bring completely overcast skies to the region in latter August.

HOW CAN YOU VIEW THE ECLIPSE SAFELY? Some thoughts from the National Centers for Environmental Information: “The eclipse should only be viewed with protective eyewear designated for use during an eclipse. Ordinary sunglasses lack sufficient protection. Also, avoid viewing through unfiltered cameras, telescopes, or other optical devices. However, if the sun is completely eclipsed in totality, the brief interval is as safe to view as a full moon.” The Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach has specially designed solar glasses available for $1; glasses are also offered at other various retail outlets. Important: only purchase glasses with the "iso 12312-2" or "iso 12312-2:2015" rating.

STAY UP-TO-DATE ON ALL THINGS ECLIPSE! Your First Alert Weather Team will continue to update you on the “Great American Eclipse of 2017” here on and on the WECT Weather App. On Facebook, be sure to follow Meteorologist Gannon Medwick – WECT, Meteorologist Eric Davis WECT, Meteorologist Kellie McGlynn, and Gabe Ross – WECT. Twitter follows include @WECTWeather and @NationalEclipse.

SO, TO SUM UP… Not a total eclipse for southeastern North Carolina, but pretty darn close! (And the 100% isn’t too far away…) Cross your fingers for favorable cloud conditions and enjoy!

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