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Eclipse Forecast for Western Oregon, Coast: Cloudy Bummer, but Possible Save for Photogs

Published 10/11/23 at 4:42 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Eclipse Forecast for Western Oregon, Coast: Cloudy Bummer, but Possible Save for Photogs

(Oregon Coast) – Eclipse hunting this weekend?

What eclipse? [There is a possible save for those with pro camera gear in a tip at the bottom] (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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Sadly, the weather forecast for the south Oregon coast and southwest Oregon calls for plenty of clouds and plenty of rain on Saturday morning when the annular solar eclipse is supposed to hit the state. Touching first at Reedsport before anywhere else on the continent, it's going to be pretty overcast on the south coast as well as anywhere else in the state that would normally get to see even just a portion of the cosmic event.

East of the Cascades may get some occasional clearings, but by and large it's going to be clouds throughout Oregon.

On top of it, the western part of the state – especially the south Oregon coast – is going to get drenched on Friday, with about half an inch of rain south of Cape Blanco.

See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather

However, the National Weather Service (NWS) is able to say there could be some clearing on Saturday on the north Oregon coast. Yet that's not where the full effect of the “ring of fire” will be.

That path of full of effect goes over Depoe Bay down through Bandon, and over to Eugene, Crater Lake and Klamath Falls – all of which are expecting clouds on Saturday.

“Active weather is currently expected to return this weekend,” said the NWS. “A weak front will bring light precipitation to areas west of the Cascades on Friday evening, with forecast rainfall totals of 0.5 inches along the coast south of Cape Blanco. Amounts elsewhere are expected to be 0.2 inches or less.”

However, it's possible not all is lost for those with pro camera equipment. Sometimes you can darken the exposure enough to catch the orb through the cloud cover. It depends on the thickness of the clouds, but you may get something.

Make sure to only look at the sun through the digital preview display and NOT the eyepiece – that will take some discipline to avoid doing by instinct. You could injure your eye that way, and even through the cloud cover a brief glimpse will hurt. You will feel it immediately.

You will not be able to accomplish this without full control of your camera's exposure, and cellphone cameras are not likely to have that.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection managed to catch the transit of Venus several years ago this way. The cloud cover was considerable and blocking any usable view with the naked eye or even the special sunblocking shades. However, in the picture above you see Venus quite clearly, although you don't get any of the color of the sun you would get if it were uncovered by clouds.

By stopping down to an extreme, tiny aperture and upping the shutter speed to almost max this was accomplished. In fact, the clouds act as a density filter, which you would have to use during this event in the first place, if there was no cloud cover.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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