Weather During an Eclipse - A Look at the 2017 Eclipse 6 Years Ago Today
Not many people consider how the weather is affected during an eclipse. This is understandable. They're all focused on viewing the main event, not necessarily observing what's going on around them! But the weather actually responds pretty obviously as the Sun becomes darker in a relatively quick amount of time.
Weather During an Eclipse
Solar eclipses, occurring when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, cast temporary shadows over specific regions of the planet. This sudden reduction in incoming solar radiation can lead to a localized drop in temperature, often referred to as the "eclipse cooling effect." During a solar eclipse, the air cools as the sunlight dims, and this can be experienced as a slight decrease in temperature. However, the cooling effect is generally short-lived, lasting only a few minutes, as the moon's shadow moves quickly across the Earth's surface. Cooling can also cause a shift in winds as different areas of atmospheric pressure develop over the area beneath annularity or totality during annular or total eclipses, respectively.
The chart below is data taken from my own personal weather station during the August 2017 Great American Eclipse. You can very obviously see the totality at shortly before noon, ending at noon at which point the temperature begins to climb back to normal readings.
In the below chart, you can see a precipitous drop in both solar radiation (yellow) and UV radiation (purple) during totality.
In modern times, with advanced weather forecasting and climate models, scientists can predict the effects of eclipses on local temperatures with reasonable accuracy. However, these effects are usually small and short-term, overshadowed by the more dominant influences of larger climatic drivers.
In essence, while eclipses certainly create awe-inspiring moments in the sky, their impacts on weather are intriguing but modest. These celestial events remind us of the intricate connections between the various elements of our universe, yet also highlight the greater forces that shape our planet's climate over time.