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Solar Eclipse Weather Update: Here's the Forecast for the Path of Totality

This animated weather map from the GOES-East satellite shows a few clouds crossing over South America at sunset on July 1, 2019.
This animated weather map from the GOES-East satellite shows a few clouds crossing over South America at sunset on July 1, 2019.
(Image: © NOAA)

If you're planning on watching the total solar eclipse in South America today (July 2), the chances of clouds obstructing your view are slim. However, skywatchers viewing a partial eclipse outside the path of totality may not be so lucky. 

While most of South America is will be able to witness at least a partial eclipse, in which the moon appears to take a "bite" out of the sun, only those who are positioned along a 125-mile-wide (200 kilometers) path across Chile and Argentina will get to experience a few moments of twilight as the moon completely blocks the sun from view. 

If you're in the path of totality, which starts near La Serena, Chile and ends just south of Buenos Aires, Argentina, you're in luck — not only because you can see the rare celestial spectacle that is a total solar eclipse, but also because you'll likely have the clearest skies in all of South America.

Related: Total Solar Eclipse 2019: Path, Viewing Maps and Photo Guide

Although you might see a cloud or two along the path of totality, overall the weather forecast there looks like it will provide excellent conditions for viewing the eclipse. 

In the rest of the South American continent, however, the chances of having your partial solar eclipse getting "eclipsed" by clouds is a bit higher. 

According to Accuweather, the cloudiest places during the eclipse will be the southern tip of the continent and the northern countries of Colombia and Venezuela. 

Anyone watching the eclipse in Colombia or Venezuela (where only the country's southernmost region can see the partial eclipse) would only be able to watch the moon cross over a tiny fraction of the sun anyway, because at maximum eclipse about 2% of the sun's surface will be covered. 

Northern Brazil may also experience some eclipse-obstructing cloud coverage, as will a small region stretching from northern Argentina, through southern Paraguay and into São Paulo, Brazil.

If you're worried that clouds may spoil your eclipse, it might not be too late to adjust your travel plans and drive toward a place where the sky will be clearer. But if that's not an option, you can also tune in to several live webcasts of the eclipse here

And if a cloud does roll in during totality, blocking your view of the show, don't stop looking up! Instead, scope out the skies to see if you can spot planets, stars and constellations that are otherwise not visible from the Southern Hemisphere this time of year. 

Happy skywatching, and may the weather gods be in your favor! 

Editor's Note: If you snap an amazing picture of the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse and would like to share it with Space.com's readers, send your photos, comments, and your name and location to spacephotos@space.com.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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