Where will you be for the April 8 total solar eclipse? There's still time to grab a spot

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NEW YORK – Where are you going to see the April 8 total solar eclipse? Whether it's by land, sea or air, there are only a few weeks left to pick your spot to watch the skies darken in one part of North America.

115 miles wide for those living inside The Path of Total DarknessIt can be a matter of stepping outside and wearing it Special eclipse glasses To see the display. For the millions who are off-track or looking to improve their chances of clear skies, this means hitting the road with a game plan.

The eclipse reaches Mexico's Pacific coast in the morning, cuts across the United States from Texas to Maine, and exits eastern Canada in the afternoon. Most of the continent will see a partial eclipse.

Weather will be key, and spring weather will be dicey on the trail. Mexico and Texas offer the best odds of sunshine, said the retired Canadian meteorologist Jay Anderson.

“There's no guarantee of sunshine anywhere – great opportunities,” he said.

Andersen analyzed satellite data from the last 20 years to calculate how often cloudy weather is in a location on any given eclipse day. Besides Mexico and Texas, there are other promising locations along the path of totality, especially along the Great Lakes.

Tip: If you're flexible, start paying attention to the local weather about 10 days out, and make your plans with a three-day forecast. Hard eclipse chasers often line up more than one location and make last-minute decisions based on the best forecast, he said.

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An experienced eclipse chaser recommends picking a spot and turning it into a vacation so that the eclipse isn't the “cherry on top” and the only highlight — if things don't work out.

Tom Schultz travels from his retirement home in Costa Rica with other relatives to his in-laws' home in Rochester, New York to view the eclipse.

“If we get rained out, we'll have this great family reunion,” Schultz said.

Senior Ann Marie Atkins could drive across town in San Antonio to see the total eclipse, but chose to join an astronomer-led tour to Mazatlán, Mexico, where she bet on clear skies. On other voyages she was obstructed by clouds. For the 2017 US eclipse, he traveled to Nebraska and had to struggle that day to find the best sky.

“It's a gamble. You never know what you're going to get,” Atkins said.

Post-eclipse traffic is a particular concern, especially in rural areas like the Texas Hill Country. Patricia Moore, In Bandera Visitor Center, last year's “Ring of Fire” eclipse provided a dress rehearsal for police and other first responders. Tiny Bandera — the “Cowboy Capital of the World” — is expecting crowds at nearby weekend music festivals.

“After the eclipse will be a challenge,” he said.

As the eclipse falls on a Monday, towns and cities along the path line up a weekend of activities and parties to attract visitors. Many music festivals and gatherings are planned at museums, parks, wineries and other businesses.

Niagara Falls There are several days of events and crowds are expected for the Fourth of July eclipse, said Sarah Harvey, spokeswoman for Destination Niagara USA.

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There are several opportunities to view the show from Niagara Falls State Park, and the famous Maid of the Mist tour boats may run, weather permitting, he said. Even if it's cloudy, Harvey said, visitors will “get a beautiful view of the falls.”

In Waco, Texas, festivities will conclude on eclipse day Science-based activities outside of Baylor's McClain StadiumA touchdown is called an alley.

It may be too late to snag a room on a cruise ship off the coast of Mexico for the eclipse, but there are other water options, including a ride on the paddle-wheel Victorian Princess from Lake Erie. Erie, Pennsylvania.

If the skies call, Southwest and Delta have identified aircraft flying in or near the eclipse path. A special Delta flight from Austin to Detroit quickly sold out, prompting the airline to add another flight from Dallas.

Looking for a different kind of place to watch the Sun, Moon and Earth align? Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host NASA astronauts and other guests. Cedar Point Amusement Park opens today on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. And this Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas Tailgate hosts a fundraising party and invites visitors to watch zoo residents react to the midday darkness.

Andersen, the meteorologist, said it was worth it to see the “special magical moment” of the total eclipse: “It's the Taylor Swift of natural phenomena.”

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