Philadelphians and half the US population will likely miss the lunar eclipse on Sunday evening

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Clouds and showers are not only about to ruin another weekend here, they are likely to ruin one of the most anticipated astronomical events of the year – a Sunday evening total lunar eclipse in Monday morning – and not just for Philadelphia.

During the 3.5 hours that Earth’s shadow will cross the Moon, beginning around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, clouds will eclipse the eclipse over most of the eastern United States, said Allan Rahill, a Canadian government meteorologist who provides sky cover forecasts to astronomers. throughout North America.

For Philadelphians, seeing the eclipse would require “a pretty good road trip,” said Dave Bowers, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc., “like west of Chicago; Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, they look pretty good; west-central Texas.

What remains of the stubborn and destructive Northeast from last weekend will affect the Philadelphia area Friday through Sunday.

» READ MORE: The storm took a major bite out of North Wildwood beaches

Winds inducing waves from the northeast have left noticeable scars on Jersey beaches. “The beaches are as flat as possible with sand being moved offshore in bars,” said Stewart Farrell, director of the coastal research center at the University of Stockton.

As the winding storm sagged south, it wrecked homes on North Carolina‘s Outer Banks.

“It’s the same system,” Bowers said. “He managed to get as far as the western Atlantic and he stalled. Now he’s literally backing up.

This time around, its moisture drops and clouds will act as a spoiler rather than a saboteur. Showers are possible Friday afternoon and night, and probably Saturday.

Next Sunday, the tasteless remnants of the storm that wouldn’t eventually go away will dissipate, forecasters say, to be replaced by another eclipse-carrying cloud mass. Showers are possible again on Sunday and Monday.

Not to rub it, but it could be a spectacular celestial event. Under a clear sky, a full moon would illuminate all those first green leaves. Then the moonlight would disappear as Earth’s shadow covered the moon, and during totality the lunar surface would take on a reddish hue.

It’s the result of sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere, NASA explains. The degree of redness depends on the amount of cloudiness (too much here) and dust in the air. According to NASA, “It’s as if all the sunrises and sunsets in the world were projected onto the moon.”

Our next chance to see one of them live would be the early hours of Election Day, Tuesday November 8, perhaps ideal for anxious politicians who survive the primaries and might be early risers. Totality will last about 5:15 a.m. to 6:40 a.m., according to NASA.

READ MORE: One day people might get a really close view of the moon

But keep in mind that sunrise that morning will occur at 6:37 a.m.: that’s Eastern Standard Time, since clocks go back on November 6. And even a politician wouldn’t promise clear skies on Election Day morning. On average, October is the month with the clearest days in Philadelphia, and things take a turn for the worse in November.

So this time around, you might want to tune into NASA’s version of a Zoom event with the moon. It will stream the eclipse live on YouTube, starting at 11 p.m. Sunday. Totality occurs at 12:12 a.m. Monday. NASA says visual experts will be on hand to answer questions via live chat.

READ MORE: We had an early morning eclipse last November

As for dreams of watching it live and in person, Bowers said, “Locally, I’d say just a good night’s sleep.”

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