UAlbany Whiteface Mountain Field Station Installs Highest Webcam in New York Ahead of Total Eclipse

By Mike Nolan

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 18, 2024) — Do you want to see April’s total solar eclipse from New York’s High Peaks without braving the snow, slush, mud and traffic? The University at Albany Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) has you covered. 

ASRC’s Whiteface Mountain Field Station, located at 4,867 feet above sea level, recently installed a new webcam at the top of its observatory that is now available to the public via YouTube. 

Sitting atop the summit of one of New York’s tallest mountains, the ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station has collected cloud water samples for scientific monitoring for more than 50 years and is widely known for its contributions to the atmospheric science research community.

If there is low cloud cover on April 8, the Whiteface Mountain Field Station webcam may offer a rare unobstructed view of the eclipse. Contingent on the weather, the eclipse will be visible in Wilmington (where Whiteface is located) between 2:13 and 4:36 p.m., according to Eclipse Soundscapes. The total eclipse will occur between 3:25 and 3:28 p.m. 

“The summit of Whiteface Mountain has a good chance of being enveloped in clouds on any given day, which highlights its value as a long-term sampling site for cloud research,” said Sara Lance, a research associate at ASRC, who studies cloud chemistry at Whiteface Mountain. “However, during the colder months there is also the chance for undercast conditions, where the summit peeks out above the clouds. Under those conditions, our newly deployed camera could come in handy for viewing the eclipse. Of course, under clear sky conditions, we also expect you will be able to view the eclipse with our new camera, with the added benefit that you won’t have to leave the comfort of home.”

The 4K camera, a high-definition video camera, was installed to assist ASRC staff in visually monitoring the condition of the summit station’s rooftop scientific instruments, which are often exposed to extreme conditions throughout the year.