Weather looks promising with Perseid meteor showers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Weather looks promising with Perseid meteor showers in the San Francisco Bay Area

This year’s best meteor showers are expected to peak Wednesday evening through Thursday morning as blazing fireballs spread across the sky. Will the weather in the San Francisco Bay Area cooperate to see it?

While San Francisco’s summer haze and some high-level clouds from the monsoon wave may mask Perseid meteor showers in some areas, National Weather Service forecaster Roger Gass said cosmic viewing conditions actually look “very good.”

Fog over the San Francisco Bay Area was not as deep and widespread on Wednesday morning, and Gass said similar conditions were likely Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

“Most of the Bayshore line saw mostly clear conditions this morning,” he said. “It was basically clear from Oakland to Palo Alto to Redwood City, even San Francisco International Airport. The clouds themselves were only limited to the coast, sort of at Berkeley Golden Gate and North Bay, mostly limited to coastal areas. In the Sonoma Valley. There were all the clouds in Napa County, Contra Costa, all the way to Santa Clara.

The lack of fog is good news, but there is something else going on. Seasonal moisture from the southwestern United States is expected to reach the Bay Area around 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, and high clouds will spread in the morning.

“Tonight we will definitely see passing clouds, but I don’t think it will get to the point where the sky is completely obscured,” Gass said. “You can often see through high clouds. It might limit some of the meteor showers, but you can still see them.”

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A small chance (less than 10%) of dry thunderstorms is also possible with seasonal humidity, Gass said.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak early in the morning on Thursday, August 12, said Gerald McKegan, an associate astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Auckland. The best time to see the Perseids is expected from August 11 at 11 pm until August 12 at 3 am.

“The moon will appear early in the evening of the eleventh day, so we will have dark skies and very good viewing conditions,” McKegan wrote in an email. “Under ideal conditions, observers can see up to 100 meteors per hour.”

The Perseids light up the sky each year around mid-August when Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, and the meteor shower appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky.

“As a comet orbits the sun, it leaves behind a trail of dust, rock particles, and pebbles that form a stream of particles that also orbit the sun,” McKegan wrote. “When these particles enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, we see a meteor.”

If you’re looking for the view, forget binoculars or a telescope, said McKegan.

He wrote: “Meteorites are best seen with the naked eye because they are spread over large areas of the sky.” “While meteors seem to come from the east, meteors can appear in any part of the sky. So it is best to find a comfortable place from where you can see large expanses of sky. On a blanket in the grass on top of a mountain will ensure optimal observation.”

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