The sunniest skies along the entire eclipse track can be found on the eastern slopes of the Baja Peninsula and the western coast of mainland Mexico. Figure 8 shows that the frequency of clear skies (less than 1/3 cloud cover) in May ranges from 80 to 90 percent[9]. The Gulf of California is protected in the east by the Sierra Madre Occidental and in the west by the mountain backbone of the Baja Peninsula. Winds arriving from nearly every direction have to travel downslope - drying and losing what little cloud might remain. Only high level disturbances can cross the mountains undisturbed and the climatological record shows that most of the cloudiness comes from ice crystal cirrus clouds. These clouds tend to be thinner than their water vapor cousins. The eclipse should be visible through cirrus cloud, and the cloud might even add an attractive element to the sky.

Roads along the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula are limited and mostly unpaved. Fortunately it's only necessary to travel just far enough inland to get away from the Pacific marine cloud. El Arco, just south of the center line and on the main highway is probably blessed with good prospects. For those who want to capture Baily's beads from the north limit, the skies around Punta Prieta are very promising.

On the east side of the Gulf of California access is almost unlimited and the weather is excellent. Hermosillo and Guaymas show clear skies or scattered cloud on 77% of the days in May. Prospects are even better along the beaches of the Gulf, with the coastal pueblo of Bahia Kino likely offering the best weather prospects of any position along the entire eclipse track. It's also very close to the center line.

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