We are less than 1 year away from the biggest astronomical event Oregon has seen in over a generation. There will be a total solar eclipse in our state from 10:15-10:30am on August 21st, 2017. That means Oregon will be cut in two by a ribbon of total darkness for 2 minutes. The shadow of the moon will pass along a line from Depot Bay to near Ontario. It will continue all the way into the SE USA by early afternoon. This will be the first time since 1979 that we’ll see a total solar eclipse here. And it’ll be quite awhile until we see another, although it’s interesting that one spot in the SE part of the country will see TWO eclipses within a span of 8 years since there will be one more eclipse back east in 2024.
Assuming skies are clear, the sun will look like this for about 2 minutes along the “line of totality”:
I think this web site is excellent, showing detailed maps of where you want to be for those two minutes:
And here is their map of the path. Notice how narrow the “zone” will be: Stayton and Madras are perfect, but it’ll be useless to be in the Portland metro area or Bend, they are outside of the path and it will not be totally dark.
A real neat detailed pic from the same website (click for the best view):
Rumor says most or all hotels have been booked up for next year for quite awhile. I’ve also heard much of remote Olallie Lake Resort is even booked! There is “no room at the inn” apparently in Madras where thousands (or many tens of thousands or a hundred thousand) will be congregating for the two minute show. Madras & Mitchell have the sunniest weather, on average, anywhere in the USA for this eclipse. I’ve even heard a rumor that there could be an extra million or more people congregating on that strip in Oregon that morning. Sounds like a traffic nightmare maybe? It is interesting that the two big state parks under the totality with a good chance for sunshine can’t be booked until late November (9 month window). I wonder how many people will be clicking like crazy on the Detroit Lake and Cove Palisades State Park website reservations on a cold and rainy November morning?
Anyway, read up the eclipse and make your plans!
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen