What's the difference between 98% and 100% totality during the eclipse?

Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich explains the difference between varying degrees of coverage during a solar eclipse.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In case you haven’t heard (and how could you have not heard by this point), we’re less than a week away from the Great American Eclipse.

This eclipse is particularly rare because it will be the first total solar eclipse whose path of totality stays completely in the United States since 1776, according to the Space.com Total Solar Eclipse 2017 guide.

And with all of the Carolinas experiencing coverage, the question is being asked by everyone it seems: Should I drive south and go see the total eclipse?

Well, the answer really depends. Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich says if you can, absolutely see the total eclipse.

“There is going to be a huge difference between, let’s say 98-percent coverage in Charlotte, or 95-percent coverage in Raleigh,” Panovich said. “Most of the Carolinas, no matter where you are going to have over 90 percent coverage. It’s still going to be a huge event.

“But trust me, the 100-percent totality is a life-changing event and it is much different than just having one percent of the sunshine.”

To demonstrate, Panovich went to the darkest room in his house with a flashlight and a makeshift “moon” to cover the light’s source.

For those of you who stay back in the Queen City, Panovich says you can expect it to look like sunset or sunrise at peak coverage.

“For those of you in the 98 or 95 percent, it’s going to look like twilight,” Panovich said. “But there’s a huge difference in having two percent of that sunshine or none.

“It looks almost dark as night, except for that little ring that’s going to be around the sun. It’s going to look like a full moon-lit night in 100-percent totality.”

For more Eclipse coverage, download the NBC Charlotte mobile app.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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