It is not looking favorable, that’s for sure, but on the other hand, we still could still see something – if we’re lucky (and we’ve been living right!).
August 20 at 08:15 Local Daylight Time – The color Infrared satellite image shows a large area of mid and upper level moisture over Arizona and new Mexico that will want to push in during the day tomorrow. This could bring lots of high clouds. Meanwhile, the jet stream flow to the north brings upper level disturbances across the northern plains. Once such disturbance brought us the Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) that passed by this morning. The hope for tomorrow is that another morning MCS will move out before the eclipse, that high clouds from the ‘blob-o-moisture’ will thin out and/or remain to the south of us and that another disturbance in the jet stream to our north will not spark convection until after the eclipse is over. All are possible, but it is a lot to ask! We may actually have better chances for viewing at the centerline eclipse site we are planning to go to tomorrow in southern Nebraska than here in Lawrence.
This morning’s 500 MB upper level chart – about 18,000 feet MSL. Lots of chances for clouds and moisture as a large sagging upper level disturbance over the desert southwest brings moisture northward from Mexico while a series of short wave disturbance tracks across the central and northern plains. The two could combine to bring a significant rain event on eclipse day. The hope is that thick clouds and rain from any convection overnight tonight will move out during the morning in time for the 1:03 to 1:06 PM total eclipse – and that a potential merging of the southwestern moisture and the upper waves of energy to the north that could bring a lot of rain will hold off until after the eclipse!