I’ve had a number of questions about the time of Monday’s eclipse locally. We should begin seeing partial effects of the eclipse by 11:48 am, with the eclipse reaching its zenith (about 2/3 of the sun obscured by the moon) around 1:19 pm and the sun returning to its normal, full brilliance around 2:47 pm in Galveston. Here is a link that provides more information on Monday’s event: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/galveston?iso=20170821

If you plan to view the eclipse, be sure to do so carefully. Helpful instructions are available from NASA at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

On the negative side, there will be a fair chance of showers or thunderstorms on Monday. While the effects will still be apparent even if you happen to be under some clouds or a brief downpour, it may not be the clearest view for everybody.

The uptick of rain chances from late Sunday into Tuesday will be due to an upper-level low pressure trough moving west from Florida and Cuba. The rotation with this trough is clearly seen in a visible satellite of the Gulf of Mexico. This type of trough is located very high in the atmosphere and is commonly labeled as a Tropical Upper Trophospheric Trough (or TUTT).

The real significance of this trough, however, may not be in the fact that it could bring some rain and slightly cooler conditions to our area as we go through the first half of next week. What may make this trough really important is that it could steer current Tropical Storm Harvey into a more northerly path into the Gulf of Mexico. This morning’s European and Navgem models actually have the storm developing and threatening either the northern Mexico or Texas coast. While it is too soon to know if this scenario will pan out, it will a good idea to pay attention to what the National Hurricane Center projects next week as the storm nears Belize or the Yucatan.

Stan Blazyk is a life-long weather enthusiast, long-time Galveston resident and author of "A Century of Galveston Weather." He has written the weather blog for the Galveston County Daily News for more than a decade.

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