This past Saturday, the annual “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse is predicted to change weather conditions on the Earth’s surface. These changes will include temperature, wind speed and humidity as the moon crosses in front of the sun during a solar eclipse and casts a shadow on Earth’s surface.
According to NASA, Saturday’s annular eclipse blocked up to 90% of the sun In a narrow path from Oregon to Texas. Annular eclipses allow slightly more solar radiation – sunlight and energy – to make it to the Earth’s surface than a total eclipse, which entirely blocks the sun.”
But any reduction in solar radiation, no matter how small, can affect temperatures and other weather. Researchers have confirmed that an increase in solar reduction leads to an increase in weather changes, specifically, temperature drops.
However, the exact drop in temperature can vary widely based on other environmental factors. For example, cloud cover, trapped greenhouse gasses, and season.
According to CNN, “2017’s total solar eclipse took place during a summer afternoon in August, so temperatures were already high, making them more prone to crater in some locations along the path of totality. Temperatures fell 11 degrees over just one hour in Douglas, Wyoming, and widespread temperature drops of 4 to 8 degrees happened across the South.”
Meteorologists predict that this year's temperatures may not be this drastic. However, a dip in temperatures is still expected to occur.
As a result of the apparent dip in temperatures, the atmosphere calms down and wind speeds drop because the atmosphere isn’t working as hard to balance itself out.
According to NASA, “Scientists took a number of weather measurements in Wyoming and New York during 2017’s total solar eclipse and found wind speeds dropped by an average of 6 mph as a result of the eclipse.”
If this continues, a significant drop in wind speed is expected to occur.