For Senior Meteorologist Rich Marriott, viewing a total solar eclipse is an emotional experience.
“As you look around you, you have 360-degrees of sunrise/sunset sort of stuff. You can see that you’re under something and that there’s light elsewhere, which is really kind of odd,” said Marriott on KING 5’s The Sound podcast.
“The difference between being in the path of totality and being just outside of it has been likened to the difference of being dead or alive,” he continued.
Marriott has seen two other total solar eclipses. He saw his first in 1979 right in Washington state. He traveled a much longer distance to the next one in 1991.
“It went over the big island of Hawaii, which was pretty sweet,” he said.
“You can see this darkness in the atmosphere coming towards you, which was like Armageddon was coming or a cloud of locusts, I don’t know,” he laughed. “Finally you get one big burst of light, and that’s called the 'diamond ring effect.'”
For the August 21 total eclipse, Marriott is traveling to Bend, Oregon to be near the path of totality. He plans to wake up at 2 a.m. to drive what’s normally an hour-long drive, but traffic is expected to be a nightmare, so he’s planning for it to take several hours.
In Seattle, the eclipse begins at 9:09 a.m. It will reach its maximum coverage at 10:21 a.m. when 92 percent of the sun will be covered. The eclipse will end at 11:39 a.m.
Meteorologist Ben Dery will be working for Marriott on August 21, but he said there are no hard feelings.
“Rich knew about this day before I was even born,” Dery grinned. “I’ll still be able to see a pretty significant partial solar eclipse (in Seattle), which I think is really cool in itself where you actually see a celestial body covering up the sun… like a small little crescent moon.”