Post edited on August 20, 2017, with latest eclipse forecast details.

Hype for the total solar eclipse on August 21 has been building over the past few months, and it’s hard to believe the celestial event is now less than a week away!

For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse will be visible directly overhead across parts of the United States.

If you are lucky enough to call the Upper Cumberland region of Middle Tennessee home, then chances are you will be able to experience totality from your own backyard (unless you live near Byrdstown or Jamestown…..sorry, ya’ll)!

Of course, in order to get the full experience of the eclipse, you want the weather to cooperate.

(below forecast re-posted from the August 20 weather blog)

We’ll begin the day with mainly clear skies.  Convection way off to our northwest could send a few high, wispy cirrus clouds our way throughout the morning and into the afternoon, but those should not interfere with our view of the sun.

As we approach lunchtime, a few cumulus clouds may begin to form.  Different models vary on the extent of cloud cover, which you can see below.

The latest run of the GFS want to blanked most of Kentucky with cloud cover with some of it spilling into our region.

I’m not buying into this solution.

Rather, the more probable outlook is for us to see mostly sunny to perhaps partly cloudy skies at eclipse time with those few cumulus clouds being the only real interference with our view of the sun, which should be very minimal overall.

So, we’ve determined that it won’t rain, and cloud cover probably won’t be much of an issue, either.

What about our temperatures?

When totality happens, temperatures will actually drop a good five degrees or so.  Once totality concludes and the sun begins to shine through again, temperatures will warm back up pretty rapidly.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

As a result of the eclipse, our high temperatures tomorrow will actually come later in the day than what it typical for this time of year.

Dew points will again be around 70°, so the heat + humidity will make it feel even hotter with many locations experiencing heat index values in the mid to upper 90s once temperatures rise again after the eclipse.

Overall, I don’t think we can ask for a better August 21st forecast, especially given the historical precedent for that day:

Whether you plan on watching the eclipse from your own backyard or will be attending one of the many eclipse festivals taking place throughout the Upper Cumberland, just be safe and, for goodness sake, don’t look at the sun with you naked eye!

The only time it is safe to look up at the sun is during totality — the times for which you can see below for your given location.

Many eclipse viewing parties are scheduled throughout the Upper Cumberland.

Click on the towns below for more information.

Carthage

Cookeville

Crossville

Gainesboro

Lafayette

Livingston

Smithville

Sparta

Hopefully the weather will cooperate regardless of where you will be viewing the eclipse from!

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible to us will occur on April 8, 2024.

Although we are not in the path of totality in 2024, that eclipse’s southwest-to-northeast path will see totality spread across parts of Arkansas and Missouri will ensure that we will have a decent view of the eclipse.

If you aren’t opposed to travelling, totality won’t be that far away!

Hey, it’s a backup plan if all else fails next Monday, although let’s hope we all get the full, uninterrupted experience this time around!