Will Greater Lansing get to see the eclipse? We asked a meteorologist

LANSING – Lansing area residents have a chance of seeing the April 8 eclipse without clouds getting in the way and the nip of the cold pushing them back indoors.

On Friday Nathan Jeruzal, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids Service office, said 10 days was too far in advance to give an exact forecast for the much-anticipated day when the moon will pass along a path that, for some areas of the country, completely blocks the face of the sun.

But ....

“There is a chance that there’s going to be sky conditions that would be favorable,” he said. “I don’t want to say 50-50 by any means. I would say probably the way the weather pattern looks, maybe just a little bit better chance than not that there’s going to be some sunshine around and the eclipse will be available to see.

“There is a chance anyway that it could be visible to southeast lower Michigan.”

He’s predicting temperatures in the 50s and 60s, not bad for a time known for April showers and some dark rain clouds.


Jeruzal said he can promise a better forecast next week. Shifting weather patterns may remain a challenge.

“There are some times that cloud cover can be a finicky thing,” he said. “We may not have ultimate confidence until, say maybe the day of.”

For now, the entire state will have a chance to experience the eclipse amid the same general weather patterns.

In the Lansing area, the eclipse will begin a few minutes before 2 p.m., reach a maximum at 3:12 p.m. and end about 4:25 p.m., said Shannon Schmoll, director of Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University.

"We won't see the total eclipse from Lansing; it will be 96, 97% percent coverage," Schmoll said. "We'll see a little crescent of sunlight still at that point, The whole event will be about 2½ hours long."

Jeruzal said he and some of his colleagues already have their certifiably safe eclipse glasses and some even have plans to travel to the path of totality – or total eclipse - that includes parts of the Midwest, the Rust Belt and the Northeast, including a tiny slice of southeast Michigan, near Toledo, Ohio.

He still remembers the sky darkening and a brief spell of cooler temperatures that came with the 2017 eclipse.

“I think it’s just such a unique phenomenon,” Jeruzal said.

Contact editor Susan Vela at svela@lsj.com or 248-873-7044. Follow her on Twitter @susanvela

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Will Greater Lansing get to see the eclipse? We asked a meteorologist