Weather Watch: I predict a clear view for Friday’s rare solar eclipse

Editorial image
Editorial image

There is a growing sense of excitement about the upcoming solar eclipse which will occur this Friday, with a start time for London of about 8:25 am (GMT) and end time of 10:41 am (GMT).

This event will be visible to the greatest extent across north-west Europe, Scandinavia and the UK and to a lesser extent across northern Africa, and Asia.

Make the most of this rare event, as the next solar eclipse of this scale on our shores won’t be until 2026.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun obscuring the sunlight from parts of the Earth.

A total solar eclipse can only occur when Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, obscuring all the direct sunlight.

A total solar eclipse is seen from a very narrow path across Earth’s surface, and this time it is expected to be visible in a route along the North Atlantic, so only people on ships across the Atlantic at the right time and place can see 100% of it.

The Faroe Islands are also on the central line of 100% totality and therefore will benefit from their location.

The totality of the eclipse that will be seen across the UK will range from about 85% in the south-east of England to about 95-96% in the far north of Scotland.

This eclipse coincides with the Vernal Equinox, which is the date when the days and nights are of equal length, and this is also a rare coincidence.

While some are excited by this event, others are less so.

Europe’s power suppliers are concerned about this brief intermittency in solar energy supply as a result of the eclipse, which could cause a bit of headache to the energy markets and energy operators with the loss of this solar generation.

However, despite the lack of supply, there will be also an expected suppression in demand as a result of people watching this spectacular astronomical phenomenon which will offset the impact.

All being said, what does the weather have in store for the coming days?

It looks as though it will remain rather chilly with sunshine at a premium for the next couple of days, although it looks hopeful that we could see clear skies for the eclipse on Friday morning.

The weekend looks marginally better, with a few brighter spells, but still on the chilly side.