Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today's Discussion

We are now getting into the semi-home stretch of this forecast, and things are becoming just a tiny bit clearer. Despite my bit more pessimistic forecast from yesterday the newer models this morning are a little less aggressive with the cloud cover forecast and have fewer showers.. As I have been saying the past few days, it is very difficult from a climatological perspective to have what would be optimal viewing conditions in the Southeast in late August.  The presence of a lot of moisture in the atmosphere and heating from the sun provide regular afternoon clouds (when the eclipse will be at its peak). In rare cases a front could move through clearing out this moisture but in all of the computer guidance I am looking at, the jet stream will be too far north to accomplish that. Right now it does appear that a heat dome in the middle and upper atmosphere will be centered a bit closer to the interior Southeast on Monday - which will help suppress the afternoon buildup of clouds and showers just a bit. 

I am still forecasting no areas of mostly or completely clear skies.  With some residual moisture around combined with the afternoon heating there will still be cumulus clouds in most areas close to and during totality.  The cloud coverage may now be a bit less, in the 30-40% range overall, with a 20-40% coverage of showers.  The only remaining question seems to be will there be some spots where there is slightly less of a chance of this occurring, and right now there is no way to be that specific. It will likely be a few more days before we can attempt tell folks where the slightly better viewing areas will be. 

*** This forecast discussion will be updated daily.***    *** Updated portions underlined above.***

***Forecast discussion provided by meteorologist Matt Crowther.  Matt forecasted for 33 years while with The Weather Channel, and is now a freelance meteorologist and storm/nature photographer.***