Eclipse To Darken Area

A much anticipated solar eclipse will darken much of the country on Monday, including Central Kansas.

Though the Salina area is not among the locations which will experience a total eclipse, 86 percent of the sun will be blocked. The eclipse will begin during the noon hour, at 12:33. It will peak at 1:49, with the moon blocking 86 percent of the sun. It will end at 3:06.

The Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Highway Patrol advise travelers to plan ahead as traffic is expected to increase.

“Remember that the shoulders of highways and interstates are for emergencies only,” said KHP Capt. Candice Breshears. “Finding a safe and secure location to view the eclipse is a must for all travelers to make it to their destinations safely.”

Travelers should be patient, avoid distractions and practice safe driving habits.

“Pay attention to the roadway, not the sky,” said KDOT Director of Safety Troy Whitworth. “Be on the lookout for other drivers who may be distracted. Traffic will most likely be heavy before, during and after the event in the locations where the eclipse can be viewed. So, plan your travel accordingly.”

Kansas is not in the direct viewing area of the total solar eclipse. It will begin in Mexico and enter the U.S. in Texas, and parts of 14 additional states will experience the total solar eclipse as it travels northeast across the country. Then it will enter Canada.

According to the National Weather Service, a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s elliptical orbit is towards its minimum distance from Earth, making the moon appear larger than the sun. This allows the moon to completely obscure the sun, and a shadow is cast on the Earth’s surface.

Use specialized eye protection to view the sun during this time. Check the weather and plan accordingly – make sure to dress properly and be prepared for potential weather incidents when driving long distances. For information on Kansas road conditions, go to or call 5-1-1.