This Map Lets You Find the Best Cloud-Free Location to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse in the United States

Eclipses capture the imaginations of people all around the world. Their occurrences are fairly rare, which makes them a fun and interesting event for people of all ages. This year a total solar eclipse will occur on August 21st, and will be visible from many states in the United States. The total solar eclipse will be visible in a path from Oregon to South Carolina.

As with any activity visible in the sky, it’s helpful to have a clear day in order to capture the full event. Unfortunately for some parts of the United States, clouds may threaten their viewing of the solar eclipse later this summer.  Both the west and east coast states under the path of the eclipse may have overcast skies, so residents of those locations who want to catch the eclipse may have to go to a different location for viewing.

A solar eclipse viewing map has been created that shows where there is the greatest likelihood for cloud cover on August 21st. The path of the eclipse crosses different places where there are varying amounts of cloud cover during the solar eclipse’s peak viewing time for that specific area.

According to the map and past weather data, the chances for the clearest skies will occur over the intermountain western states like Idaho and Wyoming.

Interactive Map of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

View this interactive map to explore the path of the solar eclipse to find the best viewing location.  The darker the circle, the more cloud cover has been historically measured for August 21.

The last total solar eclipse to travel from the west coast of the United States to the east coast occurred in 1918. A total eclipse visible from the US occurred in 1979. Every state will be able to see evidence of a partial eclipse, but not every state will be directly in the path of the total solar eclipse.

There are interactive maps available for the eclipse so that viewers can see their location, their chances of viewing the eclipse, peak viewing times, and other important data about the eclipse. The eclipse will begin on the west coast in the midmorning, and will last approximately an hour and a half until it reaches the east coast in the early afternoon.

Although experts are estimating that some locations will experience weather that will obscure their viewing experience, those projections are currently just guesses. As August 21st gets closer, better meteorological information will be known and you can stake out your chances for seeing a total or partial eclipse closer to the date.


When viewing an eclipse, always make sure to wear the proper protective eyewear and not look directly at the eclipse, as it could severely damage your eyes.

More: Ready, Set, Eclipse: Our Cloudiness Map May Improve Your Experience, NOAA

How to watch a live stream of the 2017 solar eclipse

Another way to see the eclipse is by viewing a live stream of the 2017 solar eclipse as captured by high-altitude balloons:

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