Western Tidewater to experience ideal weather for eclipse

Published 1:04 pm Saturday, August 19, 2017

Forecasters with the National Weather Service’s Wakefield Station indicate that the Western Tidewater area will experience ideal weather conditions for viewing the solar eclipse on Monday. Temperatures are expected to be around 90 degrees with minimal cloud coverage and very little chance of rain.

As for how to best view the phenomenon without damaging your eyes, NASA recommends that all eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers meet all of the following criteria:

  • They should have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • They should have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.
  • They should not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.
  • People should not use homemade filters.
  • Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.

“It’s common sense not to stare directly at the sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed sun,” NASA states on its website. “But only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer you can safely look directly at the sun.”

An alternative method for viewing the eclipse is with a pinhole projector, NASA states. This technique streams sunlight through a small hole such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, onto a makeshift screen such as a piece of paper or the ground. If using this method, it is important to only watch the screen, not the sun. It is not safe to look at the sun through a pinhole.

On Monday, a partial eclipse will be visible in every state, and people living in 14 states in the continental U.S. along a 70-mile-wide swath of the country will experience a total solar eclipse.