Solar eclipse 2017: What to expect in Chicago

We’re only a few days away from the big solar eclipse that will be visible across all of North America, but what can Chicagoans expect? Chicago’s location means that residents won’t experience the full sun-blocking effects of the phenomenon, but the moon will block 87 percent of the sun from our perspective. And in typical Chicago fashion, the weather may or may not be ideal for the big spectacle. Despite an unusually long streak of sunny and temperate summer weather, Monday is shaping up to be a cloudy one.

According to the latest weather reports from WGN and the Weather Channel, Monday’s forecast is suggesting clouds and possible thunderstorms later in the day. It’s also shaping up to be a hot and humid day with a high of 87 degrees expected. But of course, we’re still three days out which is more than enough time for things to completely change. This is Chicago after all.

In Chicago, the eclipse is expected to begin at 11:54 a.m. and by 1:19 p.m. Numerous parks and sites around the city are hosting eclipse watching parties next Monday for the event. The Chicago Park District alone is organizing 20 separate events for next week. And while many of the formal watching parties will offer certified solar glasses for the eclipse, it may not be a bad idea to pick some up just in case.

While we won’t be in the direct path for a full eclipse of the sun, downstate residents are. If you’re considering a last-minute weekend trip, Carbondale is going to be the place to be. The city is expecting an influx of 60,000 visitors for the celestial event. Carbondale is hosting a full-on festival for the eclipse for this weekend with numerous events and a huge watch party at Souther Illinois University’s Saluki Stadium.