High air pressure anchored to the south of the Pacific Northwest should to bring dry sunny conditions for Monday’s solar eclipse.
A quick look at forecasts around the region show Spokane should be sunny with a high of 86. The temperature should be in the upper 60s during the eclipse, forecasters said. Coeur d’Alene will also be sunny.
Spokane will reach 90 percent coverage when the new moon passes in front of the sun. The eclipse starts at 9:13 a.m. in Spokane and reaches its maximum at 10:27 a.m. It will end at 11:47 a.m.
Elsewhere, Payette, Idaho; John Day, Oregon; and Madras, Oregon, are all expecting sunny weather.
The same goes for western Oregon. However, the beaches along the Pacific Coast, where the eclipse first comes ashore, may see some clouds or early morning fog. The forecast on Thursday was for partly sunny weather in Lincoln City and mostly sunny weather at Depot Bay, a short distance to the south.
Thousands of people are traveling to the path of totality in Oregon and Idaho where the real show takes place. But the logistics require good planning and some caution.
The busiest locations may have overburdened cellphone networks, fuel supplies may run out and food and water could be in short supply. Traffic jams are likely in both central and western Oregon.
“I’m excited, but I am worried about traffic,” said Debbie Cotton, outreach coordinator with the Spokane Astronomical Society.
She and her family are traveling to Idaho for the eclipse.
Cotton said a lot of the public may think that a partial eclipse is great, but it’s not the real deal. “It’s not the same” as totality, she said.
Paul Yost, also a member of the astronomical society, said he will travel during very early morning hours to get to his spot near Lime, Idaho, on Monday.
“This is something I’ve been looking forward to for several years,” he said.
Eclipse watchers have started arriving in Oregon and Idaho, causing a traffic jam in Prineville, Oregon, on Wednesday.
A five-day Symbiosis Gathering in Big Summit Prairie music festival was about to start in that central Oregon area, according to Oregon Live online.
In Bend, Oregon, some gas stations ran out of regular fuel, according to the Bend Bulletin newspaper.
Madras to the north is expecting up to 100,000 people for festivities there.
In Idaho, the transportation department has created a special web location for monitoring eclipse traffic. They expect the heaviest traffic after the eclipse ends on Monday.
The best way to check traffic is at itd.idaho.gov/eclipse/.
“We are anticipating a significant increase in traffic, and want to share information with drivers,” Vince Trimboli, the manager for ITD’s Office of Communication, said in a news release this week.
“The daily updates will help drivers be aware of conditions on our highways, and choose a route that helps them get to their destinations.”
The department is suspending a lot of its work to make room for additional vehicles on Friday through Monday.
Trimboli said drivers should expect delays, particularly after the eclipse passes to the east on Monday.
Eclipse events are planned at the Southside Soccer Complex, the larger Spokane County libraries and at the library in Liberty Lake.
Seniors from Touchmark on South Hill retirement facility will be traveling to the top of Steptoe Butte to view the eclipse.
One of the seniors there, Deborah Zaretsky, 68, recalled seeing a total eclipse in the 1950s at Rochester, New York.
She said she was amazed at the silence that overcame the land, according to an email from the retirement facility.
Authorities are cautioning people not to look at the partial eclipse without special eclipse glasses, which are now difficult, if not impossible to find in Spokane.
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