It would be a cruel cosmic joke if one of nature’s most awesome spectacles is obscured by clouds.
The National Weather Service, not known for its sense of humor, says that is a very real possibility in these parts for Monday’s total eclipse of the sun.
“Most model data continues to suggest the potential for morning thunderstorm activity on Monday, August 21st,” the weather service says on its website.
“This would obviously spread thick cloud cover over much of Missouri.”
The weather service will issue an updated 7-day forecast on Tuesday.
Historical data indicate the frequency of rain on Aug. 21 at Kansas City International Airport is 22 percent.
Those aren’t awful odds.
But another chart on the weather service, based on historical cloudiness, says the viewability percentage for Kansas City at 1:07 p.m. — peak eclipse time here — is 49 percent.
“The percentage represents the likelihood of favorable viewing conditions,” the weather service says. “A higher percentage means the view is more likely to have fewer clouds.”
So, basically, it’s a 50-50 situation in this part of the country.
There is still time to hit the road. The best bets are Casper, Wyo., (88 percent viewability), Alliance, Neb. (82 percent) and Carbondale, Ill., (80 percent).
Wherever you are, if it is cloudy it could effect the visibility of the moon’s shadow as it moves across the Earth or the ability to see the sun’s corona.
But it will still get dark in the middle of the day. That’s guaranteed.