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A once-in-a-lifetime eclipse is coming up tomorrow (Monday), presenting a rare opportunity to ski during the eclipse. 

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The path of totality will stretch from Texas to Maine, passing through 13 states and several major ski areas, specifically in the east. In New York, the major ski areas in the totality path include Gore Mountain and Whiteface. Further to the east in Vermont, there are several resorts that are lining up for a favorable viewing experience, essentially every resort north of Middlebury including: Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley, Stowe, Smuggler’s Notch, and Jay Peak. In Maine, Saddleback and Sugarloaf will be in the path.

The major part of this forecast is cloud cover. Taking a look at the cloud cover at the time of the eclipse from the ECMWF below, we can see high cloud cover in New York and parts of Vermont. New Hampshire and Maine remain very clear and should provide a fantastic viewing experience:

However, not all clouds are the same in this situation. Middle and low clouds will make eclipse viewing extremely difficult, while high clouds shouldn’t affect the viewing experience as much. Below presents a more accurate depiction of viewing conditions. In reality, you can see that a significant chunk of the total cloud cover is made up of high, wispy cirrus clouds (top right panel). Central and Western New York are basically the only regions where medium, puffy clouds will obstruct the viewing experience.

Taking a look at Tomer Burg’s great eclipse forecast plots (using data from a high resolution, cloud-resolving ensemble), you can see that there may be high clouds in Northern Vermont around the time of the eclipse:

In Maine, however, we’re looking at literally no clouds at any level:

The best viewing conditions is no clouds, regardless of level, and for that reason, Saddleback and Sugarloaf in Maine are fantastic candidates to view the eclipse from the slopes. Northern Vermont resorts present a more accessible option for most people, but you may have to gamble on high, wispy clouds.

Skiing during a total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and considering the number of resorts that are still open and within driving range of major cities, this should be a must-do for all skiers in the northeast! Good luck and happy chasing!

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