48 hours! That means we start looking at weather. Looks pretty good right now. I look at the water vapor and cloud loops. Scroll down on that page to see the real time imaging. These show no appreciable cloud in the next day or so. Also the Clear Sky Clock is very accurate within about 24 hours but pretty good up to about 40 hours. Right now I would say I like our chances.
National Weather Service forecast is for sunny skies right now. Unfortunately this is not the kind of event you can just pick up your stuff and head east or west if the weather projection was poor. Thousands of other folks are going to do the same thing and you will never get to where you think you should get to! I remember just before the Venus transit 5 years ago I drove out 5 hours northwest that same day to get to a clear spot. No traffic and no one else at our destination! That was totally different. If you’re not an astronomer you’re not going to care about a dot you can barely see crossing the Sun! On the other hand most people are paying very close attention to what’s going on Monday!
So our second to last day of testing went fine. I set up behind the hotel in the sand lot to the west. I aligned the altitude of the mount to our new location, about 42 degrees north and polar aligned with the compass. I am told by the way we can set up at the actual site any time that morning! I am going to go out before dawn and align on Polaris for sure. Surprised to see that there is a sunspot group! This will be an excellent focus aid. I took some test exposures, then ran the simulated automated eclipse sequence in Eclipse Orchestrator. I confirmed the memory card saves the images and they can be downloaded. Tomorrow we will rehearse the entire eclipse morning from finding the sun at around 9:30 or so through the eclipse.
Thanks for reading!