MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Monday, August 21, 2017, is the big day – the Great American Eclipse, a total eclipse of the sun, will take place in our area this afternoon.
Click here to visit our Total Solar Eclipse page for all the details you need to know: what it is, when and where to see it, how to safely view it, and much more.
Our online eclipse livestream will begin on Facebook and WMBFNews.com at 1 p.m., and will show a livestream of the sun as the moon begins to pass in front of it, as well as live shots from our backyard and across the nation as the eclipse begins.
Our total eclipse special begins at 2 p.m. online and on air on WMBF News. The Fist Alert Weather team is out in Georgetown today and will be providing a live play-by-play during the total solar eclipse.
Here's Monday's forecast from the WMBF First Alert Weather Team:
It's Eclipse Day and it's going to feel like any other summer day! We'll start out warm and muggy with a chance of some patchy fog.
The forecast today remains iffy…Rain chances range from 30% just inland of the beaches to 20% across much of the Pee Dee. We are expecting partly cloudy skies with the most cloud cover closer to the coast; however, the sea breeze often tends to push clouds just a few miles inland.
Eclipse goers need to plan for heat and humidity. The heat index at the time of the peak eclipse will range between 100-103. Highs today will be in the upper 80s at the beach to the low 90s inland. Expect a brief dip in temperatures during the eclipse followed by a fast rebound as soon as the sunshine returns.
Traffic is expected to be a major issue Monday as thousands of eclipse viewers flock to the Palmetto State, once of the best places to experience solar eclipse totality.
One of the best places in our viewing area to see totality will be Georgetown County. The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office is recommending a safety plan for the Great American Eclipse on Monday.
Jason Lesley, spokesperson for the GCSO, said the sheriff's office is treating the eclipse afternoon as if it where a hurricane evacuation because of the anticipated heavy traffic due to the area being in the path of totality.
GCSO deputies will be at all of the events the city and county are holding, and, most importantly, on the roads at every intersection.
"Front Street will be closed down from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and there will be bus service provided from Georgetown High and Middle schools to shuttle people around, and officers will be assisting at the airport so they can spend the whole afternoon here," said Lesley.
IMPORTANT: On Monday morning, the City of Georgetown posted that their eclipse glasses vendor had not tested the custom glasses made for the city, and they are recommending that eclipse viewers do not use their glasses. Details here.
If you don't already have a pair of those coveted eclipse glasses, it may be difficult to find them at this point.
According to Klig's Kites on Facebook, both their Broadway at the Beach location at 1215 Celebrity Circle and their North Myrtle Beach location at 4505 South Hwy 17 have ISO-certified eclipse glasses in stock.
If you have a pair, you'll want to make sure they are genuine and NASA-certified for eclipse viewing. Here's how to determine if your glasses are genuine.
You and your children can also safely view an eclipse through a pinhole viewer – Marla and her son Owen walked through the steps of easily making one with common items found around the house.
Here is when different parts of our viewing area will experience the eclipse, and how close to totality that area will get:
Kingstree: Total eclipse will take place - the Eclipse starts at 1:16 PM. Totality is at 2:45 PM. Eclipse ends at 4:08 PM.
Pawleys Island : Total eclipse will take place - the Eclipse starts at 1:17 PM. Totality is at 2:47 PM. Eclipse ends at 4:09 PM.
Myrtle Beach: 99 percent covered by the moon - the Eclipse starts at 1:18 PM. Totality is at 2:47 PM. Eclipse ends at 4:09 PM.
Florence: 99 percent covered by the moon - the Eclipse starts at 1:15 PM. Totality is at 2:45 PM. Eclipse ends at 4:07 PM.
Head to our eclipse page to use a NASA tool to find out exactly when and how close to totality your location will experience the eclipse.
There are also plenty of eclipse parties and other eclipse events happening today up and down the Grand Strand.
The Myrtle Beach Skywheel is also hosting a eclipse viewing party – find out details about that here.
See even more Grand Strand eclipse events here, including events in Georgetown County and the South Strand, where you can experience totality.
There are also many events happening in Florence and around the Pee Dee – find out more about those events here.
Pawleys Island Police tweeted Monday morning that all their beach accesses are full, but there was street side parking on the town's north end.
Below is an interactive map showing the path of the eclipse, and the duration of the eclipse at various locations along the path:
Many recommend that during the total eclipse, you put your phone or camera down and enjoy the rare spectacle with your own eyes, and leave photos and video of the eclipse to the experts. However, if you do want to capture images of the eclipse, here are tips on how to do it safely without damaging your eyes, phone or camera.
If you don't have a solar filter, you can place your eclipse glasses over your camera's lens to act as a filter.
If you miss Monday's eclipse, there will be several more opportunities to view a total solar eclipse in the coming years - the next eclipse will happen in 2024.
And instead of tossing those eclipse glasses out, you can hold on to them and donate them to students in Asia and South America for when an eclipse crosses those continents in 2019. Details here.