The weather forecast isn’t looking good for anyone on the Norwegian mainland hoping to experience the solar eclipse on Friday. It was supposed to be visible in the late morning all over the country, but cloudy skies in the southern part of the country looked likely to spoil the event.
Around 90 percent of the sun is due to be blocked by the moon from Oslo to Tromsø, with the eclipse supposed to start and be visible in the capital from 9:46am until just after noon. Astronomers claim 89 percent of the sun will be covered when the eclipse reaches at its maximum, at 10:53am.
But state meteorologists are forecasting overcast skies and showers on Friday from Oslo to as far north as Lillehammer and beyond. Better weather was due in Trondheim, where the eclipse would cover 93 percent of the sun, but clouds were also threatening viewing.
Northern Norway had been expected to have better weather, but new forecasts on Wednesday suggested rain in Hammerfest and Tromsø, where the eclipse would hit 95 percent at its maximum at 11:08am.
The tourists who started booking hotels on Svalbard several years ago were much better off, with forecasts still calling for clear skies and a total solar eclipse at 11:11:56am. The midday darkness was due to last for two-and-a-half minutes.
Police and local officials on Svalbard began warning eclipse fans against traveling to the remote Arctic archipelago earlier this year, because all available accommodation was fully booked and there wouldn’t even be enough food on the islands to serve more people.