Total Solar Eclipse of 2024: Spectators take their places along the path of totality

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MESQUITE, Texas (AP) — Eclipse viewers took their places in three countries Sunday, fervently hoping for clear skies despite forecasts that call for clouds along most of the sun’s path of disappearance.

North America will not see another coast to coast Total solar eclipse for 21 years, leading to concern and madness over the weekend.

on Monday extravagance stretches from the Pacific beaches of Mexico to the rugged Atlantic coasts of Canada, with 15 US states in between.

“I have reached the path of totality!” Ian Kluft announced Sunday afternoon after arriving in Mesquite from Portland, Oregon, a 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) trip.

TO total eclipse It occurs when the Moon aligns perfectly between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the sunlight. That means just over four minutes of darkness during the day east of Dallas in Mesquite, where locals like Jorge Martínez have the day off. The surveyor plans to “witness history” from home with his wife and his 3-year-old daughter, Nati.

“Hopefully, she remembers it. She’s excited too,” she said after breakfast at Dos Panchas Mexican restaurant.

Inside the packed restaurant, manager Adrián Martínez decided to stay open Monday.

“I wish it were sunny like today,” he said. “But cloudiness? Hopefully it still looks pretty good.”

Near Ennis, Texas, to the south, the Range Vintage Trailer Resort was also full and sold out more than a year ago.

“I booked it instantly and then I told my wife, ‘We’re going to Texas,’” Chris Lomas of Gotham, England, said from the trailer park on Sunday. Even if clouds obscure the obscured sun, “it will still be dark. It’s just about sharing the experience with other people,” he added.

In Cleveland, the eclipse persuaded women’s Final Four fans Matt and Sheila Powell to stay an extra day after Sunday’s game. But they were debating whether to begin their journey back to Missouri Valley, Iowa, early Monday in search of clearer skies along the eclipse path. “We’re trying to be flexible,” Powell said.

Even the eclipse professionals were up in the air.

Eclipse cartographer Michael Zeiler had a perfect record heading into Monday, seeing 11 of 11 total solar eclipses after successfully relocating three of those times at the last minute to improve the weather.

“We are the complete opposite of tornado chasers, always looking for clear skies,” Zeiler said in an email over the weekend. This time, however, he stayed in Fredericksburg, Texas, with his family, ten in all, and held on to “a considerable ray of hope.”

Farther north, in Buffalo, New York, Jeff Sherman flew from Somerville, Massachusetts, to capture his second total solar eclipse. After watching the U.S. coast-to-coast eclipse in 2017, “now I have to see whichever one is nearby,” he said.

Kluft also enjoyed clear skies for the 2017 eclipse, in Oregon, and arrived in Mesquite wearing the shirt from that great event. As for Monday’s cloudy forecast across Texas, “at least I’ll be surrounded by like-minded people.”

Hazardous weather was also forecast almost all the way to Lake Erie, despite Sunday’s gorgeous weather. The only places promising clear skies along Monday’s narrow, 185-kilometer (115-mile) wide corridor of totality were New England and Canada.

Like everywhere else, the weather was the hot topic Sunday at the Buffalo Military and Naval Park. By mid-morning, volunteer Tom Villa had already greeted tourists from several states, as well as Canada and Brazil.

“They hope tomorrow is like that, of course, but you know, time is time,” he said.


AP reporters Jamie Stengle near Ennis, Texas; Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York; and Stephanie Nano in Cleveland contributed.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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