February 26, 2024

How, when and where to see April’s total solar eclipse: maps, times and best places

For basic information on how, when and where to experience North America’s total solar eclipse and why you should try to put yourself on the path of totality on April 8, check my main feed.

Where the best place to see the 2024 total solar eclipse in Texas has long been on the minds of eclipse hunters. A total solar eclipse may be visible from parts of 15 US states on Monday, April 8, but a large number of eclipse chasers will be heading to Texas. With the best chance of clear skies in the US, many travelers are turning to the Lone Star State to experience rare totality.

According to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, between 270,000 and more than a million visitors are expected to travel to Texas to witness the totality. That’s in addition to the nearly 13 million people living in the path of totality in Texas. It is the first total solar eclipse since 1900 and the last until 2045. What is certain is that more people will experience totality in Texas than in any other US state.

Here’s exactly what you need to know to be one of them, from eclipse maps of the path of totality and eclipse times to climate forecasts, traffic advice, how and where to find accommodation, and all about festivals, events and the best places to to visit. display.

Texas: path of totality and time of the eclipse

A total solar eclipse occurs when the new moon completely blocks the sun for a few minutes, casting a narrow, dark shadow across the Earth’s surface. This is the path of totality, and on April 8 it will be between 120 and 110 miles (191 to 188 kilometers) wide as it flows through Texas, from southwest to northeast, entering the state at the U.S.-Mexico border at 1:27 PM CDT and leaving again near the border with both Oklahoma and Arkansas at 1:49 PM CDT. That’s only 22 minutes.

Where to go to see the total solar eclipse is of utmost importance. You must be on the path of totality, and that cannot be overemphasized. There is no level of totality, as some maps suggest. Within the path you will see a total solar eclipse, but outside of it (even a mile on the wrong side of the border) you will see only a partial solar eclipse, with no darkness or view of the sun’s corona.

Top tip: On the centerline of that path, totality will take between 4 minutes 26 seconds and 4 minutes 19 seconds, depending on your exact location (Punch in here at each location for a full schedule), but it is not necessary to stand on the center line. It is more important to be in a clear place, although you should try to stay away from the edge of the path of totality. That will be a challenge for millions of Texans.

Texas: Austin and San Antonio

Be very careful if you plan to be in Austin or San Antonio for the eclipse, as both are bisected by the edge of the path. Many will spend the night in one of these towns and plan to drive west to enjoy a long stretch of totality in the Texas Hill Country. It may be tempting to avoid traffic and stay in Austin or San Antonio, but if you do, be very careful. Austin’s CBD will see a brief totality, but the southern and southeastern regions will not. Only the northwest suburbs of San Antonio will enjoy the totality.

Top tip: If you’re staying overnight in Austin or San Antonio, get up really early and spend the whole day in your chosen Hill Country location, but don’t necessarily choose somewhere on the midline (like Kerrville, which could see 500, 00 visitors).

Texas: destinations within the path of totality

The trail passes through southwestern Texas at the Mexican border, at Eagle Pass and Del Rio, then passes through the Texas Hill Country and central Texas on its way to Dallas Fort Worth and North Central Texas before exiting into Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Here are some key locations on or near the centerline (click the link to go to the community site, where events and festivals are listed):

Tip tip: It may be wise to stay in West Texas and drive up the trail on the day of the eclipse. The western half of the trail will be much quieter than the eastern half, thanks to the location of Austin and San Antonio.

Texas: Eclipse lodging, events, camping and festivals

With a huge influx of visitors expected, as well as the large population, there is an ever-changing array of eclipse events in Texas. For the latest news, search the interactive eclipse map on The Eclipse Company and National Eclipse’s Eclipse Events page. You’ll find a mix of camping and RV events, music festivals, science-themed festivals, day-only events and stargazing parties (solar eclipses also occur around the new moon, which is the best time of the month for stargazing) .

The Eclipse Company map also gives you a direct link to Booking.com for each location, saving time. Don’t despair if there’s nothing left: eclipse chasers tend to book a lot of rooms only to cancel later, so chances are good that rooms will become available in the few days before the eclipse. For campers, Hipcamp’s Solar Eclipse Camping Guide 2024 and Campspot’s Where to Camp for the 2024 Solar Eclipse Path are useful.

Top tip: For day trippers looking for a parking spot, check this out list of Texas State Parks on the path of totality and book a day pass (up to a month in advance) before April 8.

Texas: climate and weather

Where is the best chance for clear weather during the solar eclipse in Texas? According to eclipse meteorologist Jay Anderson on his website Eclipsophile, climate statistics suggest that Junction and Brady in the Hill Country have the best chance of clear skies, but the chance is about 50% anywhere in the state — and that’s as good as it gets. the US There is a reasonable chance that Eagle Pass on the border with Mexico, and perhaps Uvalde, will be the best destination to go to. As a bonus, they shouldn’t be nearly as busy as the area between San Antonio and the Hill Country, but each region could fill up quickly on the day of the eclipse if the weather is clear there.

Tip tip: pay attention to the weather forecasts and make a final decision about where to go 24 hours before the eclipse.

I’m an expert on eclipses, the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of The complete guide to the great North American solar eclipse of April 8, 2024. For the latest news on the total solar eclipse, including travel and accommodation options,check my main feed for new articles every day.

I wish you clear skies and big eyes.

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