First Alert Weather In-Depth: What are the chances of clear skies on April 8?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — We continue to tick closer and closer to the day of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, but our ability to view the eclipse will all be determined by the weather. The eclipse begins in Rochester at 2:07 p.m. and ends at 4:33 p.m.

Totality will begin at 3:20 p.m. and will last roughly three minutes across our region within the path of totality. With all eyes on the skies, the cloud cover forecast is very important because without clear or partly cloudy skies the eclipse will be tough if not impossible to view. Skies will darken regardless of the cloud cover, but everyone wants to witness the eclipse itself. With that said, on April 8 what are our odds of seeing the eclipse? 

Climatologically speaking for April 8, our odds of being able to view the eclipse are around 33%. This means that one in every three years we’d be able to view the eclipse on April 8. How do the last 15 years fit within this statistic?

Well, over the past 15 years we have had, three clear days, two partly cloudy days, seven mostly cloudy days, and three overcast days. Keep in mind we don’t need completely clear skies to view the eclipse. So taking the total of clear and partly cloudy days that’s 5/15 or 1/3 or 33%. It fits directly within our odds.

Our last clear day on April 8 was 2023, and our last partly cloudy day was 2018. To bring some worry to folks at home, over the last 15 years we have not had back to back clear days on April 8. However, of the previous clear days on April 8, each was followed by partly cloudy skies. So, with last year a clear day hopefully that brings us a good omen for this year.

Overall though, the statistics and previous years show that April 8 is a very volatile time in Rochester, as we all know.