The 2024 total solar eclipse: Everything you need to know with Joe Rao

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024
The 2024 total solar eclipse: Joe Rao shares viewing guide with Lee
Meteorologist Joe Rao joins Lee Goldberg to talk about the amazing total solar eclipse that's coming in April -- you have to see it! Joe also gives his thoughts on the rest of the winter. It's all on the latest "Weather or Not" podcast.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mark your calendars - and start booking those travel plans!

There's a brilliant celestial event that will be coming up in just a short time: a total eclipse of the sun that will be visible on a "path of totality" from the Southwest to the Northeast.

Totality will be coming very close to the Tri-State area, and we're going to tell you the best way to see it, advise you on how to stay safe while watching it, and detail the best places to go in the United States. And even if you stay in the Tri-State area, you are in for something special on the afternoon of April 8.

We are honored to have the great Joe Rao join us on "Weather or Not." He is one of the deans of Tri-State meteorology, a co-host of the "Joe and Joe Weather Show" with Joe Cioffi and an instructor at the Hayden Planetarium.

You may know Rao as a veteran and highly regarded broadcast meteorologist, but he's also deeply passionate and knowledgeable about astronomy, and has traveled far and wide since the 1970s to witness total solar eclipses.

"You have to see if you've never seen one before - you have to see a total solar eclipse, it is stunning. A total solar eclipse is probably the most amazing spectacle that you will ever see in your lifetime," Rao said.

"Consider, Lee, the fact that astronomers travel in some cases halfway around the world to see one of these things," Rao said. "And yet, on that second Monday in April, April the eighth, for many people here in the Tri-State area, it is just only a few hours drive to the north, up across western and northern New York State to see this incredible sight and that that's not going to happen too often in one's lifetime, unless you're practically in the totality zone"

Thirty-two million people live in the solar eclipse's path of totality, and they'll be joined by countless others who will be traveling to see this extraordinary celestial spectacle.

This eclipse will be different from the one we remember in 2017. For one thing, it will cover a bigger, 125-mile-wide path of totality. It will also be longer lasting, with totality continuing for over 4 minutes.

Rao predicts traffic generated by the eclipse may rival annual mass getaways like Thanksgiving week travel.

"I think that this year, the most heavily traveled day for people by car, by train, by plane, by bus is probably going to be the days leading up to the total eclipse of the sun. Because I'm sure a lot of people, many people, millions of people are going to try to get inside of the zone of totality to see it," Rao said.

Rao has many more details and anecdotes, packed with useful information that will both fascinate you and hopefully inspire you to see the April 8, 2024, total eclipse of the sun for yourself.

Watch the video above and, for a longer, more detailed interview with Rao, listen to the podcast below. And be sure to follow "Weather or Not with Lee Goldberg" so you never miss a podcast episode.

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