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Total Solar Eclipse of 2001 June 21

Weather Prospects: Weather Summary

Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson

Adapted from NASA TP 1999-209484 "Total Solar Eclipse of 2001 June 21"

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On the Water

Should cruise boats attempt the eclipse in the waters of the Mozambique Channel, it appears from inspection of the satellite images from 1998 that the Madagascar side of the channel tends to have less cloud than the Mozambican side. On no occasion was the sky obscured from coast to coast, so a nautical eclipse venue should have a decent chance at sunny skies if forecasts can be obtained a day ahead in time to permit sailing to sunnier areas. Skies off of the Angolan coast tended to be slightly cloudier than off of Mozambique, but with numerous breaks that would permit easy relocation for a successful view of the Sun.

Wave heights average 1 to 1.5 meters on both the Angolan and Mozambique coasts, about half a meter lower than the average for Caribbean waters during the February 1998 eclipse. Sites close to the coast, particularly near Madagascar, should be able to find flatter seas.


The first eclipse of the Millennium promises a bright start for the next thousand years with several excellent observation sites. Because of the Angolan civil war, the prime locations will be in western Zambia, with excellent access to the track. Second place must go to southwest Madagascar, protected by the mountain barrier that divides the island, though travel to the centerline there is more difficult. Zimbabwe, especially in the west, and Zambia in the east, offer good cloud prospects and a well-developed infrastructure, while Mozambique suffers from a high level of cloudiness in the Zambezi River lowlands.

Weather Web Sites

1. A good starting point. This site has many links to current and past weather around the world.
2. - Good site for weather Satellite images of Africa.
3. - Zambian Weather Office (still under construction).
4. - Zimbabwe Weather Office.
5. - South Africa Weather Bureau.
6. - World data base of temperature and rainfall.

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Adapted from NASA TP 1999-209484 "Total Solar Eclipse of 2001 June 21". Permission is freely granted to reproduce this information and data when accompanied by an acknowledgment of the source:

"From Total Solar Eclipse of 2001 June 21 by Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson, NASA"

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WebMaster: Fred Espenak
Planetary Systems Branch - Code 693

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 USA

Last revised: 1999 Dec 09 - F. Espenak