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Illinois scientists hope eclipse sheds light on weather

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Scientific background, astronomical phenomenon - full sun eclipse, total solar eclipse

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -Researchers in Illinois are hoping Monday’s solar eclipse can shed light on how sudden atmospheric changes can alter the weather.

The Illinois State Water Survey says its researchers will use weather-monitoring equipment to collect temperature and other data before, during and after the eclipse. Carbondale in southern Illinois will be one of the best places to witness the total solar eclipse.

Survey scientist David Kristovich says slower atmospheric changes and how they influence the weather are much better understood. He says if the eclipse can help better understand the influence of sudden darkness and cooling, then that could improve mathematical models used in making forecasts.

Such opportunities don’t come around a lot. The last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979.