If you’re flying to view Monday’s solar eclipse this weekend, expect a rough start Friday and Saturday, but smoother sailing heading into Sunday.
Severe thunderstorms in the New York City area have prompted several airlines to issue change fee waivers for travelers heading through affected airports. American Airlines has issued a waiver for the following airports:
- Islip, New York (ISP)
- New Haven, Connecticut (HVN)
- New York Kennedy, New York (JFK)
- New York LaGuardia, New York (LGA)
- Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL)
- Stewart Newburgh, New York (SWF)
- White Plains / Westchester County, New York (HPN)
Customers must be scheduled to travel August 18 and can travel through August 21 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).
United Airlines has also issued a change fee waiver for Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Philadelphia and White Plains for customers scheduled to travel August 18 who are willing to rebook through the 21. Delta has issued a waiver for the same airports, with the addition of Newburgh.
Heading into the early weekend, The Weather Channel forecasts that severe weather will prevail in the mid-Atlantic, including hail, high winds and thunderstorms. In the southeast, travelers should expect afternoon thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday, as well as some lingering thunderstorms in the northeast and southwest. The west will be relatively quiet, and, heading into Sunday, the path of the eclipse looks “pretty much perfect from Portland all the way through to South Carolina,” according to the forecast.
On eclipse day itself, Accuweather reports that some destinations in the path of the eclipse could experience cloudy conditions that will make for poor viewing. The coastal areas of Washington, Oregon and California could experience morning low clouds, while wildfires will bring smoke and haze to the northwest. In the southwest, the eclipse will occur early in the day, which means it could be over before the area experiences some late afternoon thunderstorms. Along the Mississippi River, in Missouri and in western Kentucky, forecasts call for partly cloudy skies. The best viewing conditions should prevail in an area ranging from the interior of Oregon to Idaho and southwestern Montana.