Clouds, showers could overshadow solar eclipse

The long-anticipated solar eclipse will begin just before noon in the Chicago area, with the sun reaching maximum obscuration of about 87 percent just before 1:20 p.m. Unfortunately, viewing is likely to be impeded by extensive cloudiness left over from overnight and morning rain. While viewing conditions will be far from ideal, some of the nearly three-hour event may be visible in parts of the area if clouds break and thin. Cloudiness is expected to increase again by late afternoon as an approaching cold front triggers some potentially severe thunderstorms, likely to produce robust rainfall. By midweek, cooler, less humid weather will arrive as Canadian-origin high pressure moves into the Midwest, keeping daily highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 50s, with some lows in the upper 40s well inland.