Graph 1: Average morning and afternoon cloud cover along the eclipse centreline extracted from 20 years of satellite imagery. The location of cities and towns along the track are indicated by dashed vertical lines above their names. Prominent topographical features are named above the graphs. Source: Patmos-X: CIMMS/ SSEC.Quelle: Jay Anderson, NASA's GSFC.
The ups and downs of mountain cloudiness fades away as the eclipse track moves out onto the Great Plains east of Casper and is replaced by a steady rise in cloudiness toward the Mississippi River. This trend is a reflection of the northward flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that feeds the Plains thunderstorms in the warm months. From Nebraska to Missouri, average cloud cover as measured by satellite increases from about 50 percent to 65 percent. In the surface record, the increase is from around 25 percent to 45 percent. This dichotomy likely results from the sensitivity of the satellite sensors to thin high-level cloud, but human observers are also relatively insensitive to the same sky condition, tending to observe less cloud. In both measures, the lowest cloud amount along this part of the centreline is found to the west of North Platte, Nebraska.
Table 1: Weather statistics collected from surface stations located along and close to the eclipse track. Note that all weather statistics, including those from satellites, have biases and errors. Use them for the comparison of one site with another, not the absolute probability of seeing the eclipse. Data: NCDC.Quelle: Jay Anderson, NASA's GSFC.
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