Weather Improves for Lunar Eclipse Above Portland, Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – Weather appears to be improving for tonight's total lunar eclipse, happening from 2 a.m to 6 a.m. in the overnight hours. Conditions are opening up a little bit for the Portland area and the Oregon coast, with forecasts calling for partly cloudy in the wee hours, but with a chance for some real drama in the form of some thunderstorms.
This bodes well for the OMSI viewing party in the Gorge. OMSI space science educator Jim Todd has a good enough feeling for the region he's forging ahead with the stellar event.
“With the optimistic weather forecast, we will make the attempt on Saturday morning to view the total lunar eclipse at Milo McIver State Park,” Todd said.” Forecast is showing a span of scattered clouds between 3 am and 6 am which would be the prime viewing window for the eclipse. Partly cloudy across a good chunk of the metro area which means it may be a peek-a-boo situation.”
The penumbral eclipse of the moon begins at 2:03 a.m., and the the partial eclipse begins at 3:16 a.m. Total eclipse begins at 4:58 am, mid-eclipse at 5:00 am and it all ends at 5:03 am. The eclipse’s total phase will last for just five minutes.
“Based on some forecasts, we are HOPING for a clearing around mid-eclipse at 5:00 am,” Todd said.
He added the party can still be cancelled due to poor visibility during the event. It is suggested that interested visitors check the OMSI Star Parties web site http://www.omsi.edu/starparties for possible weather-related cancellations.
For the Oregon coast, 5 to 10 mph winds may be pesky if you're using a tripod with optics of any kind, like a camera or telescope. Winds will be coming from the southwest, so you may be able to minimize some shaking by sticking close to a wall that's facing north, or the north face of a headland. Spots good for this include Seaside's cove area, Neskowin, the north side of Newport's Jump-Off Joe rock structure or Cape Lookout State Park.
Most towns along the Oregon coast have plenty of dark spots where there isn't much light interference for your camera, so finding the right structure to hide from the wind won't be a problem.
To reach Milo McIver State Park (24101 S Entrance Road, Estacada, OR), from I-205, take OR-213 S to Redland Road unto S. Redland Road, turn right on S. Springwater Road and turn left to S Entrance Road. The park is located 23 miles southeast of Portland. The viewing will be on the parking area of the equestrian meadow at Milo McIver SP. There will be signs at the park to direct to the parking area.
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