Eclipse 2017: Everything you need to know
URGENT: A local florist is urging customers to not use free glasses provided by their shop. MORE INFO Also, the City of Georgetown has issued a warning about eclipse glasses handed out at city hall, one of the fire stations and at the police station.
The countdown to totality is on, and we will be there every step of the way, providing the news and information you need.
What is significant about THIS eclipse? This is an event of epic proportions. The last total eclipse that stretched from one end of the country to the other was 99 years ago. The last time a total eclipse was visible here in Charleston was 47 years ago.
When is totality for my area? Make sure you have your times correct, because totality won’t last long. Basically, the moon will cross the path between the sun and Earth, and most of the sunlight will be blocked at one point. Day will turn to night, and with a potential for SOME cloud cover in the forecast, it could get even darker. This is a chart made by Sonya Stevens that includes most of the outlying areas within the path of totality. There will be other spots in between too, but she tried to stick with locations considered within the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Mobile app users CLICK HERE to view.
Staying at home and don't have glasses? You can still experience one of the greatest natural events EVER! We will be broadcasting from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. right here on ABC News 4 (WATCH LIVE) from the USS Yorktown. We will have reporters in various spots and will take live looks at the eclipse from other parts of the country. It will be the safest and most relaxing way to watch.
About those glasses... Protect your eyes! Make sure you have the correct protective eye wear, which DOES NOT INCLUDE SUNGLASSES. If you are not within the path of totality, you must ALWAYS wear your solar eclipse glasses. If you are within the path of totality, ONLY remove the glasses when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark. Make sure kids keep their glasses on! Don’t drive with them on…they are very dark and block out 99% of the sunlight! Be sure your glasses are not wrinkled, scratched or damaged in any other way. Also, you DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT PETS LOOKING AT THE SUN. Experts say animals will instinctively not look at the sun during the event. WARNING: Looking at the sun with damaged glasses, improper glasses or no glasses at all could cause serious, permanent damage to your eyes.
Weather and traffic? Our latest forecast showed a strong chance of cloud cover, but ABC News 4 chief meteorologist Dave Williams says there will be breaks between the clouds for the event. We are keeping a close watch on that situation, and will update as appropriate. There will be a temperature drop as the sky becomes dark. Temperatures could drop 10-15 degrees. As far as traffic is concerned, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is expecting heavy traffic volume in all 31 counties in the path of totality. SCHP advises if you don't have to go anywhere, STAY HOME.
So, you want to take a photo of the eclipse? Many people around the Lowcountry are hoping to snap a stunning image, but expers say it's important for pros and amateurs alike to know it's not as easy as point and shoot. Your camera should be outfitted with proper accessories. If not, you could damage the processor. As mentioned above, there is also the added risk of damage to your eyes. MORE INFO
Where can you watch the eclipse? There are plenty of great spots to observe the eclipse, but you need to know Charleston's largest landmark is OFF LIMITS. The walking path of the Ravenel Bridge will be closed, and if you stop your car on the bridge, officials warn it will immediately be towed.
Have a great photo? We are looking for great eclipse party pics and awesome photos of the natural phenomenon. CLICK HERE to send us your shots.
If there is something we didn't cover, you may be able to learn about it in our quiz. Mobile app users can CLICK HERE to participate.
** ABC News 4 meteorologist Sonya Stevens contributed to this report.