Tens of thousands took in the solar eclipse in Western North Carolina. In the path of totality to the west of Asheville, there was heavy cloud cover and even some rain. Those who watched in the city however caught a break.
A couple thousand people gathered in Pack Square to view the eclipse. That’s even though Asheville was not in the path of totality, meaning it wouldn’t get completely dark in the city, as only 99.2% of the sun would be blocked by the moon. About a half hour before that occurred, a giant cloud covered up the sun, leaving those gathered disappointed, as it had been mostly clear until that point. As the seconds ticked down to that 99.2% blockage of the sun…, breathes were held hoping that giant cloud would disappear. And just at the right time - it did, leaving everyone a clear view. The light was similar to dusk, and you could feel the temperature drop. Street lights in Pack Square automatically turned on. It left Anna Priest, the executive director of the Asheville Museum of Science, ecstatic.
“Oh my gosh I still have goose bumps. Probably from the excitement but also from the temperature dropping. It’s so much cooler out here. And we got so lucky that the clouds parted for us. I couldn’t have asked for a better viewing spot and a better community to view this epic phenomenon with.”
The next total solar eclipse to pass over the U.S. won’t come for another seven years, and it won’t be close to Asheville.