The weather for viewing Monday’s solar eclipse looked good as of Saturday, with mostly clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures expected in the area of totality, experts say.

“The forecast so far has been trending pretty fair for both cloud cover and temperature-wise and there could be a 10 degree swing in temperature during the totality,” said Greg Cornwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

Cornwell said just before noon Saturday that with the moon blocking direct sunlight during the eclipse, temperatures will cool down due to less solar radiation.

“I have people comparing it to almost late evening, and with all the new snow pack, that could help hasten how quickly things start cooling,” Cornwell said.

Temperatures should rebound as the afternoon progresses, he said.

He urged people to be aware of surface conditions with snow over mud because if someone pulls a vehicle off the road and gets stuck, that could cause traffic to slow as people would be walking around on the roads.


“Definitely, just keep your eyes peeled and take it easy on the trip Monday,” Cornwell said.

Not being prepared for surface conditions, he said, may be one of the bigger hazards travelers will face.

Bill Jarvis, chief of the Jackman-Moose River Fire & Rescue Department, agreed with Cornwell. Jackman is in northern Somerset County.

Jarvis, who also is Jackman’s emergency management director, said early Saturday afternoon that it was snowing in Jackman, which got a foot of heavy, wet snow Thursday, on top of snow that already was on the ground.

The area was expected to get 2 more inches Saturday night, Jarvis said. Under the snow, the ground is soft and muddy and officials expect there will be issues because of that. Maine Warden Service officials will be stationed along roads to assist.

“We know people are going to get stuck — there’s no doubt,” Jarvis said.


Some high, wispy clouds are expected to be just off to the southwest during the eclipse Monday afternoon, but as of Saturday, mostly sunny skies were predicted, according to Cornwell.

“Those wouldn’t impact viewing too much,” he said. “You’ll still see the outline. There might be some unlucky clouds. Right now, the denser of the cirrus clouds should be to the southwest. Sometimes clouds are one of the more unpredictable parts of the forecast so it’s certainly one of the things we’re definitely paying attention to because everyone will be checking the forecast the morning of.”

U.S. Route 201 through Bingham to Jackman is expected to be a busy road for travelers heading to view the eclipse. Cornwell said the high temperatures probably will be in the lower 50s although most of the day may be in the upper 40s. Route 27 from Farmington through Coburn Gore to the Canadian border also is expected to be busy, as is Route 6 from Guilford through the Moosehead Lake region.

Cornwell said that with new snow having fallen on existing snow in the days leading up to the eclipse and temperatures well above freezing, a gradual melt is expected.

“It’s going to be kind of sloppy where you aren’t on paved roads,” he said, adding that shoulders might be soft or muddy.

Winds should be mostly light with a couple of 15-20 mph gusts, Cornwell said.


Meanwhile, Jarvis said people planning to drive up to the Jackman area to view the eclipse have been calling to inquire about different side roads they may watch from and the town office has been receiving a lot of calls. He said he was in the town office Friday and the phone was ringing endlessly.

He said a man from Indiana called and said he lives in the path of totality there but because it is supposed to be cloudy in that area and he is a pilot, he plans to fly to Maine with friends to watch the eclipse.

Jarvis said he expects most people staying overnight in Jackman for the eclipse will be in town by Sunday but a significant number of people will drive up on Monday.

He said he is not concerned about any issues related to the event as he has created a safety plan, and will take things as they come.

“At this point in time, we’re prepared as best as we can be prepared,” he said.

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