People wanting to get a glimpse of the total eclipse Monday might be shaking their fists at the clouds as they threaten to block what might be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
A huge swath of clouds covered much of northwest and west-central Missouri, including the Kansas City area, said Andy Bailey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
“It looks like northwest Missouri will be socked in most of the eclipse time,” Bailey said in a Facebook Live update at 10:55 a.m. “The Kansas City metro area may see a little clearing, at least at the beginning part of the eclipse.”
“Best location to view the eclipse is well east of the Kansas City metro area,” Bailey said. “I think our friends in central Missouri around Columbia stand a pretty good shot as well as eastern and southeastern Missouri, just to the south of St. Louis. That’s where probably the least amount of cloud cover will occur during the eclipse.”
Eastbound traffic on Interstate 70 in the Kansas City area was slow after a two-vehicle crash about 10:30 a.m. just past Interstate 470. The right shoulder was blocked and drivers were urged to use caution in the area.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reported that traffic was moving along well as of 11:15 a.m. through mid-Missouri, but traffic volumes have increased, especially along I-70.
Traffic also had slowed considerably along I-29 at 10:45 a.m. The Dearborn rest area is full as some people have decided to skip St. Joe and watch the eclipse there.
The Kansas City region of the Missouri Department of Transportation reported that the rest stops along northbound and southbound Interstate 35 near Lathrop, Mo., were closed because they were full to capacity.
Drivers were being advised to seek other viewing locations.
Traffic headed east to Columbia and Jefferson City areas appeared to be normal according to the travel map and traffic cameras.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are also possible Monday morning and in the afternoon around the time of the eclipse, according to the Weather Service.
The bulk of the thunderstorms, however, will not be until Monday evening and into the night.
Areas north of Interstate 70 could see strong to possibly severe storms, capable of producing 60 mph winds and hail as large as golf balls.
Heavy rain is also expected Monday night into Tuesday morning. Between 2 and 4 inches of rain will likely fall. Some areas could see higher amounts, according to the National Weather Service.
Flash flooding and river flooding will be an increasing concern overnight.
The National Weather Service is warning those camping for the eclipse to stay aware of the weather.
More eclipse stories:
▪ Tips for total solar eclipse: Where and when to watch, and how to use those glasses.