Weather puts New England in a prime spot for viewing eclipse

WORCESTER, Mass. — Viewing a solar eclipse is a lot like buying a house — in that, location is pretty much everything. And suddenly, New England is the equivalent of waterfront property when it comes to Monday’s celestial spectacular.

That’s thanks not just to the track of the eclipse — which runs over extreme Northern New England — but also to the weather, which is expected to be clear.

That means even places outside the path of totality should get quite a show.

“What we’ll see here in Massachusetts is close to a total eclipse,” said Jason Gurtman, an educator at Worcester’s Ecotarium. “We’ll have about 93 percent coverage.”

The coverage of the sun by the moon diminishes further east — but even in Boston, the occlusion is expected to reach 90 percent.

With New England suddenly prime viewing territory, some eclipse enthusiasts drastically changed plans — at the last minute.

Meteorologist Andrew Markowitz originally hoped to view the eclipse in San Antonio, Texas. Those plans were set down six months ago.

“That was based on historically the place that tends to be the sunniest, the warmest — so it seemed like an easy choice,” Markowitz said. “After looking at the weather models, the pattern just completely flipped and instead that area would be stuck under cloud cover, whereas New England, being under high pressure, is allowing for a very clear day.”

And so Markowitz is choosing to fly into Boston Friday afternoon, then driving up to Bar Harbor, Maine on Saturday.

“The idea of seeing the corona of the sun is something that very few people on Earth can experience,” Markowitz said. “There’s nothing in the world that does it justice than seeing it in totality.”

Rebecca Steffler would surely agree. Seven years ago, she caught a total eclipse in Idaho Falls, Idaho:

“It went completely pitch-black and you can see the stars in the middle of the day,” she said. “And you could hear chirping and stuff.. the animals thought it was nighttime, too.”

Steffler and her family will be traveling to Rochester, New York for the eclipse — both to visit family and experience totality.

It’s hard to say whether the suddenly favorable forecast in New England will lead to a deluge of last-minute visitors. But, some flights to Boston, in the next few days, are sold out — while others have just a few seats left.

And enthusiasm for the eclipse is running high. Two Worcester high schools are planning eclipse-watching events; while The Ecotarium expects at least 1,100 visitors to view the eclipse — free of charge.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW