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Climate Network Observes the Great American Eclipse

22 Aug 2017, 3:54 pm

The Great American Eclipse Monday cut a path across the country from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions gathered in the approximately 70-mile-wide path of totality—where the moon completely blocked the sun, witnessing the marvelous few minutes when day became night. NOAA’s unique network of climate observation stations recorded the extraordinary astronomical event right alongside them.

More than 100 U.S. Climate Reference Network, or USCRN, stations across the country were ready to observe the meteorological impacts caused by the solar eclipse. Of these stations spanning the Lower 48, nine were located right in the eclipse’s path of totality—and six were in totality for over two minutes.

Map of U.S. Climate Reference Network stations in the path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse

Each stations high-quality instruments measure temperature, solar radiation, and relative humidity. The stations take observations in 5-minute increments, but only report these measurements to us once per hour. Now that the eclipse is over, USCRN full data is in and available for you to check out. Here are three ways to see the climate impacts at our stations:

  • Visit the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division’s website
    This site is a great resource after the eclipse. It provides access to a variety of data and information from NOAA, NASA, and other sources. The USCRN data will also be available on the site as they come in.
  • Check out our interactive map
    Created in partnership with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites–North Carolina (CICS-NC), this GIS-based map will show the hour-to-hour changes in conditions at all USCRN stations. It will display a graph time series of changes over the last 24 hours when you hover over a station location.
  • Look for the USCRN’s complete report
    NCEI scientists will compile a complete report of the events at the nine USCRN stations experiencing totality. You can check out the detailed analysis of the eclipse’s meteorological impacts at these locations.

U.S. Climate Reference Network Stations Within the Path of Totality

Location Elevation (feet) Length of Totality
(minutes : seconds)
Corvallis, Oregon 312 1:00.1
John Day, Oregon 2,245 2:07.2
Moose, Wyoming 6,466 2:20.6
Harrison, Nebraska 4,406 2:23.7
Whitman, Nebraska 3,740 1:52.7
Lincoln, Nebraska 1,372 2:13.3
Lincoln, Nebraska 1,189 0:31.5
Crossville, Tennessee 1,913 2:33.2
McClellanville, South Carolina 9 2:28.9

What is the U.S. Climate Reference Network?

Since 2002, NCEI and NOAA’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division have together managed and operated the U.S. Climate Reference Network. The network’s mission is to monitor the climate across the United States in pristine locations for the next 50 years and provide user-driven information products based on these measurements.

The USCRN consists of a systematic and sustained network of stations with sites across the contiguous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. These stations use high-quality instruments to measure air temperature, surface temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity, precipitation, soil conditions, and more.

From NOAA

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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