BOSTON (CBS) -- Where will you be in two years?
Believe it or not, thousands of people already know and have made arrangements. That's because a total solar eclipse is coming to the United States, and it will be even more of a spectacle than the 2017 edition!
On April 8, 2024, the moon will pass directly between the earth and sun to produce one of the most awe-inspiring scenes the natural world has to offer.
Crowds from Mexico to Maine will be in place to enjoy the show. While the visuals will be the same as in 2017, the big difference maker will be duration of the eclipse. Five years ago, the max time of totality to enjoy it was two minutes and 40 seconds. This one will have a maximum duration of four minutes and 26 seconds in parts of Texas!
For context, only two in the history of the U.S. were longer (five minutes and 20 seconds in 1778, and four minutes and 52 seconds in 1806).
You may recall the mad rush to find proper viewing glasses in 2017, even though New England was not in the path of totality.
Those who traveled elsewhere enjoyed the thrill of watching the moon's shadow race toward them and engulf the landscape as the disc of the sun disappeared. And then the beauty of totality, when the glowing corona of the sun is visible around the edges of the moon. Stars and planets appear in the sky as if night. Truly a bucket list experience.
For those planning a run at 2024's event, you won't have to go nearly as far. The path of totality comes through New England!
To be more precise, northern New England.
And if you want the full show, you absolutely must get into the path of totality. 99.5% will not do. So where to travel? You'll have a range of choices in northern New England from Vermont to New Hampshire and Maine. You could enjoy from Lake Champlain, or from the high peaks of Stowe, Sugarloaf, or perhaps Mt. Katahdin. And you should probably plan on a whole lot of traffic to get there and back, because it's going to be a scene.
That being said, will the weather cooperate? Climatology says…probably not. The timing is not great for New Englanders, as April is generally the cloudiest or second-cloudiest month of the year, depending on exact location. Parts of northern New England have nearly 80% odds of cloudy skies in early April.
Could we get lucky and have a big fat area of high pressure sitting over the top of us that day? Sure!
But the odds are not in our favor.
If you truly wanted to maximize your chances, then there's no better place for the 2024 event than Texas. It's a very sunny place in April, and the famous bluebonnet flowers would be in bloom as an added bonus. Plus, lots of wide open land to navigate if you needed to get away from clouds at the last minute.
The countdown is on! And if you're wondering when the Boston area might have a total solar eclipse – it's going to be a while.
But if you're around in May of 2079, I'll meet you on Great Blue Hill.
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