Total solar eclipse over Missouri
Missouri is well known as the Show Me State. They will receive quite a show on August 21, 2017!
After the eclipse crosses many sparsely populated regions of the American west, the eclipse finally reaches cities with significant populations. St. Joseph on the Missouri River is smack on the centerline and will enjoy a generous 2 minutes and 38 seconds of totality. The southern edge of totality splits Kansas City with the northern suburbs and the nearby city of Independence under the Moon's shadow. However, the citizens of Kansas City would be encouraged to head a bit north on Interstate 35 to increase eclipse duration from less than a minute to 2 minutes and 38 seconds near Lathrop or St Joseph. This day trip would be well worth the effort as every second of totality will be valuable.
In the central section of Missouri, Marshall, Boonville, and Columbia are well positioned to experience over 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the total solar eclipse. Jefferson City will see 2 minutes and 27 seconds of totality. St. Louis has a similar situation as Kansas City and is bisected by the northern limit of totality. Again, citizens of St. Louis would be smart to head south on Interstate 55 to Festus (2 minutes and 37 seconds) or St. Genevieve (2 minutes and 40 seconds) near the centerline of the eclipse.
Although Cape Girardeau is closer to the edge of the eclipse path than the center line, it still experiences a respectable 1 minute and 41 seconds under the Moon's shadow. The Moon's shadow races across Missouri at about 1,900 miles per hour!
Missouri has the potential for enormous visitation on eclipse day. We estimate that the centerline in Missouri is the closest destination for 31 million Americans. We further estimate that between 323,000 and 1,291,000 people will travel to the path of totality on eclipse day. Details at www.greatamericaneclipse.com/statistics/
The weather forecast in Missouri is fair. The western part of the state enjoys clearer skies in August than the eastern part, but the intrepid eclipse observer can increase their odds by studying the near-term weather forecast and driving to where clear skies are forecast. Consult the eclipse weather website eclipsophile.com and local weather forecasts to devise your cloud dodging strategy.
Eclipse viewing locations are being organized in the St. Louis area. For details on these activities, visit www.missourieclipse2017.com/
Michael Bakich, an editor of Astronomy Magazine, is organizing a large eclipse viewing party at an airport at St. Joseph, Missouri. Learn about this event at www.fpsci.com/event.html
Please visit www.StJoMoEclipse.com for events and information in the St. Joseph area.
The community of St. Clair sits where the centerline of eclipse cross old U.S. Route 66 and is planning an eclipse car show! More at www.stclaireclipse.com