Cloud watching: Solar eclipse’s grandeur may be shrouded

Clouds may mute the splendor of Monday’s solar eclipse in the Great Plains, forecasters warn.

“We’re probably not going to be crystal clear” for the eclipse in the Wichita area, National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Kleinsasser said.

A thin layer of mid- and high-level clouds is expected in southern Kansas at mid-day Monday, he said. If they’re not too thick, they shouldn’t obscure the eclipse. But uncertainty remains about how substantial the cloud cover will be.

“For the most part, it should be fairly visible,” Kleinsasser said.

Forecasters elsewhere in Kansas are less optimistic, however.

“The view could be blocked up here,” said Daniel Robinson, a meteorologist with the Goodland branch of the weather service.

Cloud cover will be widespread in the area Monday morning, though clouds will eventually begin to break up. The question is how soon that occurs.

Eclipse fans in northcentral Kansas will face a similar scenario as Wichita: Will layers of upper level clouds hide the sun?

“It’s not looking as promising as it did,” said Jennifer Prieto, a meteorologist with the Topeka branch of the weather service.

(Read more: Local News | The Wichita Eagle & Kansas.com)