The long-awaited total solar eclipse will occur in just two months! The chance of an eclipse over Arkansas is basically 100%, but the chance of clear skies is unknown.
It's still too early to give an accurate forecast for April 8, but we can look at climate data to get an idea of what might happen.
Temperatures in early April should be very comfortable. The average high temperature for April 8 is 71 degrees, and the average low temperature is 48 degrees. The highest recorded temperature is 87 degrees and the lowest recorded temperature is 28 degrees. I don't think temperatures will be a problem.
The most important part of the forecast is the sky cover. If the sky is overcast we will miss everything. The eclipse path extends from Texas to Maine, and historical cloud cover varies greatly along the path.
Locations in the Northeast and Midwest consistently have the greatest chance of the eclipse being obscured by clouds while locations in West Texas have the lowest risk of clouds. Here in Arkansas, we're in the middle.
There is about a 50-50 chance that April 8 will feature cloudy skies. This means that until we get within 10 days of the event, I have no idea whether it will be a cloudy day or a sunny day.
I, along with the rest of Arkansas, are declaring that we will have clear skies on April 8th.
More information about the Great American Eclipse. ↓
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, blocking its light. The Great American Eclipse is special because it is a total solar eclipse. This means that 100% of the sun will be blocked. The last total solar eclipse to occur near Arkansas was in 2017.
The totality will enter southwest Arkansas at about 1:45 p.m. on April 8, 2024. It will move at about 1,800 mph and will be over Little Rock, Conway and Russellville at about 1:50. It will exit northeast Arkansas around 2:00 p.m. It will only be over Arkansas for about 15 minutes. Click here for an animation of the eclipse moving over the state!
The length of this short period depends on where you are in the overall path. Along the blue line in the chart above, the total eclipse will last more than 4 minutes. Along the edges of the path where Little Rock is located, totality will last about two minutes. So, it may be worth making the trip to the middle of the trail (although it can be quite crowded).
Thousands and even millions of people are expected to flock to the Natural State for this historic total solar eclipse.