KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are four eclipses sprinkled throughout the year 2021.
There was a total lunar eclipse in late May, where we only saw a part of it. An annular solar eclipse happened over the North Pole in June, and there will be a December total solar eclipse around the South Pole in December.
But the fourth eclipse this year will be a good viewing opportunity for North America, including us here in the Midwest.
This Friday morning, we’ll have the opportunity to see a partial lunar eclipse. And this will be a long, drawn-out event, as it will last about six hours!
We’ll first notice the moon getting darker in appearance after midnight Friday. Then by 3 a.m. Friday, the moon continues to darken until almost all of the moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow (the umbra), allowing that red, rusty color to show.
After 3 a.m., the moon will become less and less red, returning to a dark grey color as the partial eclipse ends at 4:47 a.m., with full brightness returning around 6 a.m.
Maximum eclipse is very early in the morning, but if you’re a very early riser, you should still have a chance to catch the last few minutes of a red moon.
So, what’s the forecast look like for Thursday night and Friday morning? More specifically, what’s the cloud situation like?
Well, the daytime hours Friday will be spent under high pressure, so skies should be pretty clear heading into the partial lunar eclipse.
More clouds will probably be moving back into NE Kansas and NW Missouri as the center of high pressure shifts east overnight, and some clouds could push deeper into Missouri.
Here’s a look at the forecasted cloud cover according to the American GFS model and the European model (Euro):
The forecast looks cold otherwise with temperatures just below freezing by 2 and 3 a.m.
We’ll keep you updated as we head towards Thursday night!