Aug. 21--Today's weather forecast is bright and sunny -- for a few hours, anyway.
A partial eclipse of the sun will begin at about 1:15 p.m. for the Wyoming Valley. A mostly sunny sky will gradually darken during the afternoon, as the moon blocks the sun. The eclipse will reach its maximum at about 2:40 p.m., according to Dave Caulfield, a meteorologist at Eyewitness News.
The eclipse should be over by 4 p.m., according to Caulfield.
Even with the diminished sunlight, it will be a warm day, with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s, Caulfield said.
"Because of the timing of this eclipse, temperatures won't drop too much," he said. "But 2 to 4 degrees is possible in some spots."
Today will mark the first solar eclipse to cross the entire continental United States in 99 years. Some parts of the country will see a total eclipse of the sun, but the Wyoming Valley will only see a partial eclipse, with about 70 percent of "totality," according to Caulfield.
However, even a partial eclipse poses potential danger to the eyesight of anyone who stares directly at the sun, according to optical professionals.
Those who choose to view the eclipse are urged to use caution and wear protective glasses that meet international safety standards if possible.
Unfortunately, anyone looking to buy a pair of approved viewing glasses near Wilkes-Barre on Sunday was out of luck, based on calls placed to numerous stores in the area.
The Wal-Mart stores in Wilkes-Barre and Pittston townships were sold out of the glasses, as were Lowe's Home Improvement locations in Edwardsville and Wilkes-Barre Twp.
The eclipse has affected the schedule of one local school. Bear Creek Community Charter School, in Bear Creek Twp., postponed the first day of classes from today until Tuesday because of the eclipse.
While some local schools and colleges will host eclipse-viewing events for students, faculty and staff, no plans for wide-scale "watch" events open to the public in the Greater Wilkes-Barre area had been announced to news media as of Sunday.
Wilkes-Barre city officials do not have any specific eclipse-related plans or events today, according to City Administrator Ted Wampole.
For information from NASA on viewing the eclipse safely, see: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
Contact the writer:
For those who do not have approved viewing glasses:
Make a pinhole camera with a few common items. NASA recommends cutting a square hole in the middle of a piece of white card stock, then taping a piece of aluminum foil over the hole. Poke a small hole in the foil with a pin or paperclip. Put a second piece of white card stock on the ground and hold the piece with the foil above it, allowing the sun to project through the hole onto the card on the ground. The farther away you hold the "camera," the larger the image will be.
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