June 27, 2022

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What the 2024 total solar eclipse will look like in Houston

3 min read

In two years, Texas will be at the heart of the “Great North American Solar Eclipse” as the new moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking out the sun’s light. While Houston is not in the path of totality, it will still experience a partial eclipse. 

Michael Zeiler, a New Mexico-based eclipse cartographer who edits GreatAmericanEclipse.com, says the Lone Star State is an ideal location to experience the natural phenomenon on April 8, 2024. “Texas will be ground zero; best weather odds in the US, large metropolitan areas inside the path, and extensive highway system for eclipse chasing,” Zeiler says.

Houston, however, is only a few hundred miles away from the path of totality and will see a near-total eclipse, with 94 percent of the sun covered. The partial eclipse will begin at approximately 12:20 p.m., with maximum coverage occurring at 1:40 p.m. The total event will last around two-and-a-half to three hours long.

Texas will be at the heart of the annular eclipse of Oct. 14, 2023 and total eclipse of Apr. 8, 2024.

Texas will be at the heart of the annular eclipse of Oct. 14, 2023 and total eclipse of Apr. 8, 2024.

GreatAmericanEclipse.com

Zeiler says it’s worth making the drive to witness the rare occurrence in all its glory. The last major solar eclipse in the U.S. happened on Aug. 21, 2017.

“The sky will noticeably darken and shadows will crispen,” Zeiler says about Houston’s perspective. “But it won’t be ‘94%’ as good as seeing totality! Totality is so close, take this as an opportunity to drive 3 hours and see the most amazing celestial sight in the sky.”

Houstonians would need to travel west or northwest to Dallas, San Antonio, or Austin, some of the major Texas cities located in the path of totality. The closer to the center of the swath, the longer the period of the eclipse. 

Austin will likely provide the best views, Zeiler says. “There, you will see the amazing sight of the sun’s corona in the suddenly darkened sky,” Zeiler says. “This is a bucket list item and everyone who can should try to see at least one total solar eclipse.”


If you can’t wait until 2024, a “warm-up eclipse” annular solar eclipse, in which the moon obscures all but an outer ring of the sun, will take place six months prior on October 14, 2023 over Texas from Midland-Odessa to Corpus Christi, Zeiler says.

Dan Reilly of the National Weather Service says the annular solar eclipse will also be partially visible from H-Town. “That’s pretty impressive as well,” Reilly says. “You can actually get kind of a wedding ring appearance where the moon almost totally blocks the sun but there’s a ring of light around the edges.”

Areas west of San Antonio are in the path of totality for both events, Reilly says. “[They’re] two very rare events in consecutive years that are both impacting Texas and it’s kind of interesting,” he says. While it’s impossible to predict just how the weather will impact visibility during those dates this far out, Reilly advises to start checking forecasts at least a week in advance. 



 

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