Effect of Great American Solar Eclipse on Local Weather through Citizen Science Observations

Authors: Md Ishfaq Ur Rahman*, University of Toledo, Kevin Czajkowski, University of Toledo, kristen L. K. Weaver, Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (USRA/GESTAR), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, Matthew Penn , National Solar Observatory, Yitong Jiang, University of Toledo
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Earth Science
Keywords: Weather, Solar Eclipse, Air Temperature, Clouds, Surface Temperature
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

One of most captivating astronomical events of 2017 must be The Great American Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017. It is the first Total Solar Eclipse to be observed from American soil in more than 40 years. This extraordinary phenomenon was anticipated to make a significant impact on the public’s interest in science. At the same time, the participation of the public in the scientific endeavor during this event had the potential to open a window of opportunity to deeper understanding of the effect of an eclipse to local weather, specifically, change in air temperature and clouds as shown in previous studies.
Students and citizens across the United States participated in the GLOBE program during the eclipse to take air temperature, surface temperature and cloud cover observations prior to, during and after the eclipse on August 21. GLOBE is an International program in 119 countries that engages students and the public as citizen scientists as they participate in taking environmental observations of their surroundings answering specific scientific research questions. Over 4000 individuals participated in collecting over 100,000 observations during the solar eclipse.
These observations, under right circumstances, have the possibility to provide insight into the effect the solar eclipse and other similar rare atmospheric events have. This paper aims to validate and present the findings of the observations that illustrates the spatial and temporal changes in clouds, air temperature and surface temperature during the eclipse. This includes the changes before, during and after totality.

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