BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) - It's been 38 years since the United States was able to view a total eclipse and its been 99 years since the last total eclipse crossed the United States from coast to coast. So people are understandably pretty excited for this once in a lifetime event.
We've talked about the science behind eclipses and what will happen in the sky BUT we you may not think about other ways the eclipse may affect them.
The path of totality will cross through a whopping 14 states. More than 12 million people will get to experience it without even having to leave their homes. But what about those, like us here in North Central West Virginia, who aren't in the path. That means people are traveling to it. It is estimated that around 20 million will come to see this total eclipse. All of these travelers could cause major issues on the roads.
Another issue you may not think about is solar energy. We've grown a lot more dependent on solar energy since 1979. The eclipse will last about 3 hours but totality will only be about 3 minutes but this still will affect solar panels. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Their solar plants are going to lose over half of their ability to generate electricity during the two and two and half hours that the eclipse is affecting the area. Luckily, they have be prepping for this issue for many many months now.
One final thing to take into consideration when gearing up for the eclipse, the weather! You may notice a drop in temperature. In some spots, the temperature could even drop 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of an hour or two. If you have an at home weather station, take observations of the changes in to atmosphere during this once in a lifetime event.