5 Things You Need To Check Before The 2024 Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, an estimated four million Americans are likely to participate in what is being described as the largest mass travel event the U.S. has ever witnessed. This massive crowd of people — the equivalent of 50 simultaneous Super Bowls across the nation — will be out in the open on that day to witness the last total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States for the next 20 years.

The Solar Eclipse will be visible across a 115-mile wide patch that stretches from Texas to Maine while passing through parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire on the way.

If you live in any of these states, consider yourself lucky, given that you may not need to travel as people from the rest of the states. Nevertheless, several counties on the path of totality are bracing for a massive influx of tourists from across the country, with some even declaring a state of emergency.

In case you are among the millions of people intending to witness this rare celestial event, there are several things you need to do to ensure that your experience goes as smoothly as possible. These things range from making the correct travel plans to carrying the right equipment so your eyes (and equipment) do not end up damaged.

Pick your viewing locations carefully

Imagine waiting to witness a rare celestial phenomenon, only for the view to be blocked by clouds. This has happened so many times in the past that it is imperative that the location you choose for viewing the 2024 total solar eclipse is absolutely cloud-free on the day.

While it is impossible to predict the weather with 100% certainty, it would be a great idea to refer to popular weather forecasting platforms to get a clearer idea of what to expect on eclipse day. Among the notable platforms that we could think of include Windy, Pivotal Weather, and U.S. National Weather Service GOES Image Viewer.

That being said, experts have already indicated that the southern parts of the U.S. have a greater chance of being cloud-free during the eclipse. An interactive map created by The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) already shows the best possible locations to view the eclipse with the least possibility of clouds obscuring the view.

As per the map, Texas, Oklahoma, and Southeast Missouri are the best locations for a cloud-free eclipse-viewing experience. However, you may still need to rely on local weather conditions on the day of the eclipse to ensure trouble-free viewing.

Once you have homed in on a location of choice, you will need to ensure that you make hotel reservations in advance. With less than a week left for the eclipse, room availability in areas of totality may already be low.