The weather for the total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, October 27, is not promising, but it's not hopeless either.

As forecast by the Clear Sky Clock, which astronomers use to forecast visibility, the clouds are beginning to break up a bit to the west. In fact, there is some sunshine right now (at 4:17PM) at my house. The Clear Sky Clock shows only about 50-60% cloud cover for the beginning of the eclipse, improving to 30%.

New update: at 4:55PM there are now some patches of blue sky overhead and toward the east. If that continues, as I expect, we should be able to view at least some of the eclipse. There are no rain showers currently headed our way on the local Doppler radar.

The National Weather Service satellite loops show the heavy overcast beginning to move to the east, leaving less overcast skies to move in behind it. Unfortunately, the eclipse will be in the eastern sky, and so the question is how long will it take for the overcast to move far enough east to permit at least periodic views of the eclipsed Moon. is showing San Diego as being in between Good and Poor viewing areas. On the other hand, is also currently forecasting 90% cloud cover and showers at the beginning of the eclipse until 7:00 PM with 80% cloud cover thereafter, but that forecast has not been updated all day.

The Weather Channel is forecasting rain through the duration of the eclipse, but that forecast has not been updated all day.

I had hoped that even if we got clouded out here, we would be able to watch the total lunar eclipse during the World Series, which has never occurred before, but the forecast is poor in St. Louis too, although they may get a few peeks through holes in the clouds.

The forecast is no better to the east, and so we will not be driving elsewhere to look for better skies. (Actually the best prospects appear to be on the coast to the north, but I don't feel like driving into Los Angeles at rush hour.) Because of the ongoing threat of rain, I will not be setting up my telescope, but Alex and I will be outside with binoculars trying to see the Moon. You are welcome to come over and try to look with us. You will still need a location with a view to the eastern horizon, which we have.

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Updated 10-27-2004, 4:58PM PDT.