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The northwest corner of Pennsylvania will experience America’s total solar eclipse on April 8th when the Moon blocks out the Sun, casting cities from Greenville to Erie into temporary darkness. 

Here’s what you need to know about viewing the eclipse in Pennsylvania:

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun for several minutes. 

From partial eclipse through totality, the process takes several hours. The final moments before totality include displays of light known as Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring caused by the pock-marked surface of the Moon. 

Where can I see the total solar eclipse in Pennsylvania?

Only the northwest slice of Pennsylvania along Lake Erie will witness the rare total solar eclipse on April 8, including Erie, Crawford, Warren and Mercer counties. However, the entire commonwealth will be witness to a partial eclipse, including 88% in Philadelphia. Many areas just outside the path of totality will see a 99% eclipse, such as Oil City.

What time is the solar eclipse in 2024?

A total solar eclipse is an hours-long event from partial eclipse through totality and partial eclipse again. However, the maximum eclipse, known as totality, only lasts a few seconds or over 4 minutes, depending on your location. 

A partial eclipse begins in Hermitage, Pennsylvania at 2:01 p.m. ET with totality beginning at 3:16 p.m. Totality will last just under 2 minutes.

Erie will experience 3 minutes and 43 seconds of totality beginning at 3:16 p.m. ET.

The whole commonwealth of Pennsylvania will also experience a partial eclipse, including a 97% eclipse in Pittsburgh at 3:17 p.m.

All phases of the eclipse will be over in Pennsylvania just after 4:34 p.m. 

What will the weather be like in Pennsylvania for the eclipse?

A clear sky is key to watching a total solar eclipse

The FOX Forecast Center has put together the cloud cover forecast shown on the map below, showing areas with an overcast sky, many clouds or few clouds during the eclipse. As the eclipse nears, computer forecast models will improve and be able to give forecasters a better idea of what the sky will look like on the big day.

The total solar eclipse cloud cover forecast for the Northeast.
(FOX Weather)


 

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE FORECAST SHOWS WHO HAS BEST CHANCE FOR CLEAR SKIES ON APRIL 8TH

Check back with FOX Weather for updates to the forecast as the date of the eclipse approaches, and add your viewing location to the “Events” tab in the FOX Weather app.

What to know about traveling to Pennsylvania for the 2024 solar eclipse

The region near Lake Erie is preparing for an influx of visitors who want to see the total solar eclipse. 

Plan to arrive at your viewing location early and stay long after the eclipse to avoid the most traffic. Bring plenty of food, water and sunscreen, and gas up your vehicle. 

Print out a map or bring an Atlas. During totality and after, internet connections and cellphone networks may be overloaded. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources, four state parks are within the path of totality, including Presque Isle, Erie Bluffs, Pymatuning and Maurice K. Goddard state parks. 

On April 8, state parks are preparing for crowds and parks may have to close if they reach capacity. Park officials said many overnight reservations are filling up. 

With totality falling over Lake Erie, officials are also preparing for boaters hoping to see the eclipse on the lake. 

FOX 8 Cleveland reports the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety bulletin for mariners on Lake Erie. The Coast Guard will be bringing in extra members and resources on April 8.

No matter where you watch the eclipse, you’ll need solar or eclipse glasses. ISO-certified glasses will be available in Erie County at welcome centers and rest stops within the county until supplies last. Click here for a list of locations and eclipse events.

When is the next solar eclipse in Pennsylvania?

After April 8, 2024, Pennsylvania will have to wait more than a century for another total solar eclipse. 

The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 2044 will only bring totality to parts of Montana and the Dakotas. The 2044 celestial event will bring a partial eclipse to Pennsylvania.

The next total solar eclipse will include parts of Pennsylvania in October 2144, according to timeanddate.com.

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