Mostly sunny may be the wrong word for this forecast, but the weather should cooperate with efforts to watch the solar eclipse above Richmond on Monday afternoon.

Despite a few puffy clouds, there should be plenty of breaks of clear sky for taking in the sight of the partially obscured sun — but only if you do so with safety glasses or an indirect way to watch.

The peak of the eclipse will occur at 2:44 p.m., when the moon will cover 86 percent of the sun, yet the whole process will unfold over a span of 2 hours and 46 minutes from 1:18 to 4:04 p.m.

The cumulus clouds that form in the afternoon may be low and dense enough to occasionally block the sun, but probably not widespread enough to ruin the experience.

Otherwise, expect to feel an afternoon high near 90 degrees and a heat index in the mid-90s with a light wind from the south.

The eclipse itself could have a slight effect on the air temperature. We may observe the reading slip from the lower 90s to the upper 80s during midafternoon, but it won’t be a very dramatic or sudden drop.

Thunderstorms could pop up in parts of the state on Monday afternoon, especially along the Blue Ridge Mountains and in Northern Virginia.

The rain chance is very low for Richmond during the eclipse and if storms get here at all on Monday, it would probably be after the eclipse has concluded.

Clear skies are the preferred type of weather for witnessing totality, the darkness-during-day highlight of a total eclipse.

We’re too far north to see it in Richmond, but some locals have traveled to South Carolina, Tennessee or points west in hope of seeing the sun’s corona or watching the stars and planets peek out during the day.

Overcast weather — or even one poorly timed storm — could spoil that rare and brief window to the heavens.

The path of totality is most threatened by cloudiness between Nebraska and Missouri. Mostly clear skies are in store for Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming, and also in the Tennessee Valley.

South Carolina — the closest approach of totality to Virginia — may deal with a mix of clouds and sun, with more clouds favored right along the coast in Charleston.

Smoke from wildfires will linger across the Cascade Range of Oregon, which has forced some locals to evacuate and tourists to alter plans.

Those hoping to pursue the dual thrills of eclipse chasing and storm chasing may be able to do so around eastern Nebraska, Iowa and northern Missouri, if it isn’t too cloudy.

That region has the best chance of seeing some severe storms develop in the evening, probably after the eclipse is over.

The shadow of the moon isn’t destined to cross over a hurricane, either.

The path of totality will track near two weak tropical disturbances as it sweeps across the Atlantic Ocean, but neither disturbance is likely to strengthen into a storm or hurricane in the short term.

Tropical Storm Harvey dissipated in the Caribbean Sea on Saturday after tracking across the Lesser Antilles.

Check for John Boyer’s videos and updates as the forecast evolves. Contact him at (804) 649-6209 or, and follow him on Twitter, @boyerweather.


John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016. Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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