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Schuylkill County News

Clouds Obscure Solar Eclipse in Schuylkill County

Total letdown!

You could use a thousand different words to describe the solar eclipse Monday over Schuylkill County.

We think this one just about sums it up: bummer.

Clouds quickly moved in after a bright, sunny morning and it made viewing the eclipse very difficult, if not entirely impossible.

This forecast went against what National Weather Service had been predicting for our area up until very early this morning, when we put together today’s weather forecast post.

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By the time the alarm went off to start another work week, we’d been downgraded to a “partly sunny” sky here in Pottsville. And that was being generous.

Typical … we just can’t have nice things.

solar eclipse meme
Credit: Schuylkill County Dept. of Memes

The Big Solar Eclipse Letdown of 2024

As the moon began obscuring the sun, the clouds would break just enough to get a quick peek at the celestial action.

We got to use the solar camera lens filter a few times to get some lucky – albeit, grainy – shots with the phone.

This happened just as the moon was beginning to overtake the sun:

2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
There was just enough break in the clouds to get the moon partially obscuring the sun. But you can see, cloud cover was pretty intense.

About 10 minutes later, another lucky break revealed more obscuration of the sun by the moon:

2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
That solar filter should played some tricks. This is at about 30% obscuration, which is a word we could go without using until 2079, honestly.

But for the most part, as we stood outside the newsroom, this is what we saw:

2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
Yep, it’s a bunch of clouds but you can see the moon eating up about half the sun at this point. #nofilter

Frustrated by the lack of breaks in the clouds and wanting to witness some kind of history, we did what any self-respecting Schuylkill County resident does when something big happens.

We went to the mall … the Cressona Mall.

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We’d just been there about a half-hour prior to get some bread for lunch (a late lunch, yes), and it was actually rather sunny. So, maybe the clouds hadn’t gathered there just yet.

Wrong!

We were met by some pretty thick cloud cover. And by this time – it was about 3 o’clock and just 20 minutes from the maximum obscuration – there was no turning back.

So, we waited for any potential lucky break.

It began getting a little darker and definitely much colder. And then, finally, a break in the clouds:

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2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
#nofilter The clouds provided plenty of filter and we were able to get this shot of the moon taking over about 80% of the sun.

But these would be fleeting glances at the eclipse as we neared the point of maximum obscurity.

Our last good shot came at about 3:17 p.m. Monday, when we snapped this pic of just a sliver of sunshine peeking from behind the moon:

2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
The sun looked like a big toe’s nail for a brief moment in time but you can see, the clouds were doing their best to prevent anyone from seeing this wonder of nature.

Finally, we’d reached that moment. It was 3:22 and we wanted to see the moon blocking the 93% of the sun, just like we’d been promised.

And we got hosed:

2024 solar eclipse as seen from Pottsville, PA
Cue the sad trombone sound. This is the shot we got at 3:22 p.m. on Monday. Some pretty intense cloud cover meant if we want to see a near total eclipse like this again, we’re going to need to live to see 100. (Coal Region Canary photos)

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tootsie

    April 8, 2024 at 8:03 pm

    You did your best, Canary! This is gray, PA, after all. Didn’t expect the photos to be this good, really! As I told my southern friends- it was cloudy and during the eclipse, it was MORE cloudy and darker. Big woo! Ha, ha Another day in the life!

  2. Linda H

    April 9, 2024 at 12:32 am

    Your photos are what I saw as well, down here in the northeast corner of Lebanon Co.

    My motto has always been –
    No matter the day of the week, nor hour of the day . . .
    Want a cloudy day, here in PA? Have a sky event on the way!

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