Skies expected to be clear above Phoenix area during Monday’s solar eclipse

Apr 8, 2024, 7:36 AM | Updated: 12:46 pm

Junior Espejo looks through eclipse glasses being handed out by NASA on April 08, 2024, in Houlton,...

While some parts of the country will experience a total eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024, the moon will block only about 60% of the sun in the Phoenix area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Despite some cloud coverage early in the day, the forecast calls for clear skies above the Phoenix area by the time of Monday’s solar eclipse.

“Just looking at the current satellite imagery, those clouds should migrate east of the Phoenix metro just in time to move out of the area and provide clear skies and good viewing conditions for the eclipse this morning,” Matt Salerno of the National Weather Service in Phoenix told KTAR News 92.3 FM early Monday.

While some parts of the country will experience a total eclipse, the moon will block only about 60% of the sun in Arizona.

North America won’t see another coast-to-coast total solar eclipse for 21 years. Monday’s phenomenon stretches from Mexico’s Pacific beaches to Canada’s rugged Atlantic shores, with 15 U.S. states in between.

A total eclipse happens when the moon lines up perfectly between Earth and the sun, blotting out the sunlight.

What time is Monday’s solar eclipse in Arizona?

The eclipse will start at 10:08 a.m. locally and last until 12:30 p.m., with maximum coverage at 11:20 a.m.

“At that time, it should be overall clear skies with a little bit of cloudiness over northern Arizona and eastern Arizona,” he said.

The skies will darken slightly locally but it won’t resemble the night-like conditions in areas closer to the area of totality, Salerno said.

“The main path of the eclipse will be far east of here, but it will be neat to look at,” he said. “And if you are going to look at it, make sure you wear proper eye protection, because it’s still going to be pretty bright and you could damage your eyes.”

What kind of eye protection is needed to view the eclipse?

Sari Custer is chief of science and curiosity of the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, which is holding an eclipse viewing party.

She told KTAR News’ Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos on Friday that looking directly at the sun, even in the path of a total eclipse, could cause permanent eye damage.

She said the right kind of protective glasses are needed – not regular sunglasses — to view the eclipse. They must have an ISO number of 12312-2 printed on them to safely use.

“You want to make sure that it eliminates the light,” Custer said. “As a matter of fact, when you look through them you can’t see anything unless you’re staring at the sun, and regular glasses just don’t cut it.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Skies expected to be clear above Phoenix area during Monday’s solar eclipse