Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Weather forecast puts cloud over Cairns eclipse viewing

By Jamie Rule, Brad Ryan and Hayley Turner, Tuesday November 13, 2012 - 12:17 EDT

Authorities say overcast weather could mean people heading to Cairns in far north Queensland for tomorrow morning's solar eclipse could struggle to see the phenomenon.

The director of James Cook University's School of Astronomy, associate professor Andrew Walsh, is heading north to Cairns to view the eclipse that could be partially or fully blocked by overcast weather.

"I'll be out there looking to make sure that I get the best vantage point and pray that the clouds are going to move away," he said.

He says the overcast conditions tipped for Cairns means Townsville could provide the best viewing.

"[It will] still be a very impressive partial eclipse, almost total eclipse from Townsville, I think that it's probably a better bet to be able to see something," he said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrew Cearns agrees it is not good news for eclipse tourists north of Townsville.

"Most of the showers should be to our north, so I think the further north you are unfortunately the more likely you are to see cloudy skies," he said.

"I think it won't be totally overcast skies, so we should get a good view of the eclipse most of the time."

Whatever the conditions are in Townsville, locals will only get 96 per cent of the full solar eclipse.

It begins in Townsville at 5:47am (AEST) and reaches its peak about 6:40am.

Those getting up early to watch the phenomenon are being reminded to wear solar protective eye wear.

Meanwhile, far north Queensland police say wet weather and extra visitors are causing a number of crashes on Cairns roads as thousands of visitors arrive for the eclipse.

Sergeant Cary Coolican says most have been well behaved.

"With the onset of this weather we're seeing a few car crashes on our roads, so we're just urging motorists, and in particular people who aren't used to driving in these wet conditions, just to be vigilant," he said.

"We've had quite a few people coming into the CBD, there's been a bit of anti-social behaviour, but nothing out of the ordinary."


- ABC

© ABC 2012

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Warming up in Sydney

10:34 EDT

The Sydney Basin's first 40C of the season will occur this week and the city could experience its warmest spell of December days in 17 years.

Warming up in Canberra

16:35 EDT

Summer has taken a while to get going in Canberra this year but the nation's capital will get its fair share of heat during the next week.

Heatwave breaking cool start to summer in southern Australia

12:40 EDT

Summer started out on a cool note for much of southern Australia, although a countrywide heat wave will send temperatures soaring this week.