CHAMPAIGN — Two teams of scientists from the Illinois State Water Survey have collected weather data during the first coast-to-coast U.S. solar eclipse since 1918 and plan to analyze the findings.
Program manager Jennie Atkins tells The News-Gazette that researchers nationwide collected similar data during the eclipse Monday to combine information and provide a picture of what occurs during the eclipse.
Measurements of air temperatures, solar radiation, barometric pressure and relative humidity were taken.
Atkins and scientist David Kristovich, who led the study of changes in heating and cooling at the Earth’s surface, say they were concerned weather conditions could affect their research. But Atkins says the teams were able to collect data at all the stations throughout Illinois.
Atkins says the readings show a drop in solar radiation and temperatures as the moon’s shadow passed over the area.