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Will the weather impact solar eclipse viewing in Toronto?

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There’s a chance viewing the solar eclipse in Toronto on Monday could be hampered by cloud cover, but skywatchers should still be able to catch a glimpse of the rare celestial event, if weather permits.

A low-pressure system, the centre of which is moving from the upper Midwest in the United States to northwestern Ontario, will hit the Golden Horseshoe area with clouds and isolated showers from sunrise to late afternoon.

However, according to CP24 Meteorologist Bill Coulter, the forecasting models are “not in total agreement” and there is a chance there will be a few clear breaks by mid-afternoon – right when the solar eclipse is set to take place.

“In other words, we could get lucky. But, anticipate mainly cloudy skies at eclipse time for Toronto and Niagara. I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” Coulter said.

If it is cloudy, astronomers say, you should still be able to experience some of the effects of the eclipse, including the gradual reduction of daylight and change in temperature, as long as you are in a location along the so-called path of totality, like Niagara Falls.

People gather under overcast skies ahead of a total solar eclipse in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The effects will be less pronounced in Toronto, which is not in the path and will see 99.9 per cent eclipse coverage, even without clouds in the forecast. In fact, some astronomers have said people in Toronto may not even notice anything is happening when the event takes place.

In an update Monday, Environment Canada published satellite images of the current cloud coverage over Toronto and the Niagara Region.

It appears to show a batch of clouds moving in a north-easterly direction followed by a clearing, which could make for optimal viewing conditions just as the eclipse peaks.

In Niagara Falls, which has been listed as one of the best places to see the moon cross in front of the sun, the eclipse starts at 2:04 p.m., peaks at 3:20 p.m. and ends at 4:31 p.m.

In Toronto the eclipse is set to peak at 3:19 p.m.

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