Rochester eclipse: What will happen if it’s cloudy?

Solar Eclipse

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — In less than two months, Rochester will host its biggest astronomical event in nearly a century. On April 8, 2024, hundreds of thousands of people in our area — and millions more in other cities — will experience a total solar eclipse.

The moon will pass in between the sun and the earth, blocking out the sun from our perspective. And those lucky enough to be in the path of totality will get to watch the sun completely blot out for a few minutes. Here in Rochester, it’s about three and a half minutes of total darkness. 

But what if it’s cloudy that day? Rochester’s made headlines as one of the best places to see the eclipse, but we’ve also made (unrelated) headlines as one of the cloudiest cities.

It won’t really matter. That’s according to Jim Bader, the director of the Rochester Museum and Science Center. He said there will still be plenty to do and celebrate and experience even if the eclipse is hidden under grey skies. 

The temperature will still drop dramatically. The animals will still be fooled into thinking it’s nighttime — crickets may start chirping, spiders may start taking down their webs, and birds may fly back to their nests. 

And yes, the sky will still get darker.

“You can often see where the sun is in the clouds, you can know where it is in the sky,” Bader said. “As totality begins, the sun will disappear. You will still experience darkness, the sky around you will still turn to dusk. You will see this otherworldly appearance of your horizon completely turning into dusk — rather than when we experience a normal sunset, it just goes down on one side and we see dusk in that one place. We’ll see it all the way around, which will be really fascinating.”

Ahead of the eclipse (and on the day of) there are dozens of celebrations in our area. To see all of News10NBC’s coverage on the eclipse and the many celebrations, here.