Skies darkened and an eerie hue covered The T&D Region as a rare total solar eclipse descended upon the area Monday afternoon.

Temperatures slowly cooled across the region as the moon began to block out the sun. The temperature fell from 92 degrees to about 87 degrees at the Orangeburg Municipal Airport during the eclipse.

Following the eclipse, temperatures rose again to 89 degrees as the sun's warmth reached the Earth.

The National Weather Service had forecast 60 percent cloud cover for the area during the eclipse. But the clouds seemed to leave the area just in time for good viewing.

NWS Meteorologist Dan Miller said the cloud cover may have decreased because of the cooling temperatures associated with the eclipse.

“Even before the eclipse, the skies were fair with scattered cumulus clouds,” he said.

Miller said a ridge of high pressure also kept cloud cover at bay.

In Columbia, temperatures dropped from 93 degrees to 89 degrees during the eclipse.

Miller said the coast was not as fortunate as the Midlands.

"There was quite a band of thunderstorms on the coast," he said.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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