(NEXSTAR) – Tens of millions in the Americas will have front-row seats for Saturday’s rare “ring of fire” eclipse of the sun – but what viewers actually see will depend on how close they are to the path of the eclipse, and how clear the skies are on Oct. 14.
What’s called an annular solar eclipse — better known as a ring of fire — will briefly dim the skies over parts of the western U.S. and Central and South America.
As the moon lines up precisely between Earth and the sun, it will blot out all but the sun’s outer rim. A bright, blazing border will appear around the moon for as much as five minutes, wowing skygazers along a narrow path stretching from Oregon to Texas in the U.S.
The celestial showstopper will yield a partial eclipse across the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
A look at forecasted cloud coverage in the video player above (times are CT) shows that some vantage points along the path of annularity will see clearer skies than others.
In Battle Mountain, Nevada; Richfield, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and San Antonio, Texas – all cities in the direct path of the annular eclipse – sky gazers have a mostly sunny forecast for the morning of the eclipse.
Viewers in Eugene, Oregon, where the annular eclipse is set to begin at 9:16 a.m. local time, will unfortunately see rain move in Friday night, with clouds and a chance of rain possible the following morning.
Outside of the path of annularity, cloud cover appears to be a problem Saturday for much of the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. If you’re planning on seeing the eclipse on Saturday, be sure to check your local weather forecast.
Saturday’s eclipse is a prelude to the total solar eclipse that will sweep across Mexico, the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, in six months. Unlike Saturday, when the moon is too far from Earth to completely cover the sun from our perspective, the moon will be at the perfect distance on April 8, 2024.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.