March 1, 2024

How, when and where to see the total solar eclipse in April – maps, times and the best places

For basic information on how, when and where to experience North America’s total solar eclipse and why you should try to follow the path of totality on April 8, check my main feed.

Where is the best place to view the 2024 total solar eclipse in Texas has long been on the minds of eclipse hunters. A total solar eclipse may be visible in parts of 15 US states on Monday, April 8, but it’s Texas where a large number of eclipse chasers will head. With the highest chances of clear skies in the U.S., many travelers are targeting the Lone Star State to experience rare totality.

In fact, according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, between 270,000 and over a million visitors are expected to travel to Texas to witness totality. This is in addition to the nearly 13 million people living in the path of totality in Texas. Its first total solar eclipse since May 28, 1900 and the last until August 12, 2045, what is guaranteed is that more people will experience totality in Texas than in any other US state.

Here’s exactly what you need to know to be one of them, from eclipse maps of the path of totality and eclipse times to weather forecasts, traffic advice, how and where to find accommodation and all about festivals, events and the best places to view .

Texas: Path of Totality and Eclipse Time

A total solar eclipse occurs when the new moon completely blocks the sun for a few minutes, casting a narrow dark shadow on the Earth’s surface. This is the path of totality, and on April 8 it will be between 195 and 188 miles wide as it crosses Texas, going southwest to northeast, entering the state at the US-Mexico border at 1:27 pm CDT and leaving on the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas at 1:49 pm CDT. It’s only 22 minutes.

Where you need to be to see the total solar eclipse is key. You must be on the path of totality, which cannot be emphasized enough. There is no level of totality, as some maps suggest. Inside the path, you’ll see a total eclipse of the sun, but outside of it—even a mile on the wrong side of the border—you’ll only see a partial solar eclipse, with no darkness and no views of the solar corona. .

Top tip: At the centerline of this path, totality will last between 4 minutes 26 seconds and 4 minutes 19 seconds, depending on your exact location (bookmark any location here for a full schedule), but there is no need to be on the center line. It’s most important to be where the skies are clear – although you should try to stay away from the edge of the path of totality. This will be a challenge for millions of Texans.

Texas: Austin and San Antonio

Be very careful if you plan to be in Austin or San Antonio for the eclipse, because both are intercepted by the edge of the path. Many will spend the night in one of these cities and plan to drive west to enjoy a long totality in the Texas Hill Country. It may be tempting to avoid traffic and stay in Austin from San Antonio, but if you do, be very careful. Austin’s CBD will have a short totality, but the south and southeast regions will not. Only the northwest suburbs of San Antonio will enjoy the entirety.

Top tip: If you spend the night in Austin or San Antonio, wake up bright and early and spend the entire day at your chosen Hill Country location—but don’t necessarily choose somewhere on the central line (like Kerrville, which could see 500,000 visitors).

Texas: destinations in the path of totality

The path traverses southwest Texas at the Mexican border, at Eagle Pass and Del Rio, then passes through the Texas Hill Country and central Texas en route to Dallas Fort Worth and north-central Texas, before exiting into Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Here are some important locations on or near the center line (click the links to go to the community website, which lists events and festivals):

Tip: It may be advisable to stay in West Texas and drive to the path on the day of the eclipse. The western half of the path will be much quieter than the eastern half, thanks to the position of Austin and San Antonio.

Texas: Accommodations, Events, Camps, and Festivals in Eclipse

With a large influx of visitors expected as well as the large resident population, there is an ever-changing list of eclipse events in Texas. For the latest information, see the interactive Eclipse map on The Eclipse Company and National Eclipse’s Eclipse Events page. You’ll find a mix of camping and RV events, music festivals, science-themed festivals, daytime viewing-only events, and star parties (solar eclipses also occur around the new moon, which is the best time of month for stargazing ) .

The Eclipse Company map also provides a direct link to Booking.com for each location, which saves time. Don’t despair if there’s nothing left—eclipse chasers tend to book lots of rooms to cancel later, so there’s a good chance rooms will become available just a few days before the eclipse. For campers, Hipcamp’s Solar Eclipse Camping Guide 2024 and Campspot’s Where to Camp for the 2024 Solar Eclipse Path are helpful.

Top Tip: For day trippers after parking somewhere, check this out list of Texas state parks in the path of totality and reserve a day pass (up to a month in advance) for April 8th.

Texas: climate and weather

Where is the best chance for clear weather during the eclipse in Texas? According to eclipse meteorologist Jay Anderson on his website Eclipsophile, weather statistics suggest that Junction and Brady in the Hill Country have the highest chance of clear skies, but it’s about a 50% chance anywhere in the state — and that’s the best there is. the U.S. There is a reasonable chance that Eagle Pass on the Mexican border and perhaps Uvalde are the places of choice to go. As a bonus, they shouldn’t be as busy as the area between San Antonio and the Hill Country — but either region can fill up quickly on the day of the eclipse if the weather is good.

Tip Tip: watch the weather forecasts and make a final decision about where to go 24 hours before the eclipse.

I’m an eclipse expert – the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of The Complete Guide to the Great North American Eclipse of April 8, 2024. For the latest on the total solar eclipse – including travel and lodging options –check my main feed for new articles every day.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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