Happy Eclipse Day! A History of Eclipses in Columbus

In honor of today’s historic “Great American Eclipse”, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at both eclipses that have affected the area in years past, as well as those that will come long into the future.

Solar eclipses are not as unusual as people think, but to have the sun mostly or completely covered in any particular area IS relatively rare. In Columbus, that is no exception. Looking back in time to 1900, here are Columbus’ greatest solar eclipses. Only those solar eclipses with at least 75% coverage will be detailed. For maps, animated recreations, etc., follow the links.

1900-1909
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 4
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 15
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 5
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 4

May 28, 1900 Solar Eclipse: 7:43AM-10:07AM
This eclipse was the most significant of the 1900-1909 decade for Columbus. The path of totality entered the United States around Brownsville, Texas, crossed New Orleans, went just south of Atlanta and left the country at Virginia Beach, Virginia. In Columbus, maximum coverage reached 82.58%.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19000528

1910-1919
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 6
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 0
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 15
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 7
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 5

June 8, 1918 Solar Eclipse: 6:28PM-8:22PM
This eclipse’s path of totality is somewhat similar to August 21, 2017, only a few hundred miles to further south. Path of totality entered the US in southern Washington state, moved across Denver, just north of Oklahoma City to central Mississippi and northern Florida. In Columbus, maximum coverage reached 72.58%, making this the most significant solar eclipse of the 1910s.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19180608

1920-1929
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 3
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 16
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 5
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 4

January 24, 1925 Solar Eclipse: 7:52AM-10:12AM
Path of totality for this eclipse began in northern Minnesota, crossed northern Michigan, Buffalo and then over Long Island, New York. In Columbus, coverage reached 92.79%, the highest of any solar eclipse in the 20th Century.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19250124

1930-1939
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 4
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 13
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 4
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 3

August 31, 1932 Solar Eclipse: 3:15PM-5:36PM
The path of totality on this eclipse was somewhat unusual, moving south out of northern Canada over Montreal and then just east of Boston. In Columbus, coverage reached 79.31%, the highest during the 1930s.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19320831

1940-1949
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 4
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 0
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 14
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 6
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 5

April 7, 1940 Solar Eclipse: 3:39PM-6:12PM
While there were no solar eclipses during the 1940s that reached at least 75% coverage in Columbus, the most significant during the decade did reach 61.86% coverage. The path of totality for this eclipse was in the Deep South, crossing into the US in central Texas and then riding along the Gulf Coast until it exited around Jacksonville, Florida.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19400407

1950-1959
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 3
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 2
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 15
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 4
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 4

September 1, 1951 Solar Eclipse: 6:01AM-8:05AM
Because this eclipse began in the morning, the first half was not visible, and the maximum coverage in Columbus, at 81.58% and the greatest during the decade, occurred just as the sun was rising on the horizon, so it was poor viewing overall. Path of totality began in far eastern Tennessee and moved out of the US at Virginia Beach, Virginia.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19510901

June 30, 1954 Solar Eclipse: 6:06AM-7:56AM
As with the eclipse in 1951, this one began early in the morning, so the first half was not visible. Viewing was slightly better than in 1951, as maximum occurred while the sun was over the horizon, but because it was still low, one needed a clear eastern view to really see it. In Columbus, maximum reached 76.59%, second best of the decade. Path of totality for this eclipse began in north-central Nebraska and moved northeast over Minneapolis and then into Canada and off northern Newfoundland.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19540630

1960-1969
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 4
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 0
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 16
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 9
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 8

July 20, 1963 Solar Eclipse: 4:34PM-6:49PM
This eclipse’s totality path was almost entirely in Canada, only entering the US briefly in Maine. In Columbus, coverage reached 72.41%, the maximum of any solar eclipse during the 1960s.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19630720

1970-1979
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 6
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 13
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 5
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 5

March 7, 1970 Solar Eclipse: 12:12PM-2:43PM
Path of totality moved north through the panhandle of Florid and then along the East Coast before exiting the US at Virginia Beach, Virginia (they seem to be in a lot of eclipse paths). In Columbus, maximum reached 79.10%, the most in the 1970s.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19700307

1980-1989
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 2
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 13
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 3
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 3

May 30, 1984 Solar Eclipse: 11:09AM-2:08PM
The 1980s had very few solar eclipses, but it did have one of the 20th Century’s best for Columbus. Path of totality was unusually narrow for this eclipse, but the 90%+ coverage was very wide. Totality went from just north of New Orleans over Atlanta and off the coast of Maryland. In Columbus, coverage reached 82.44%, a top 5 of the century.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19840530

1990-1999
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 3
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 16
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 5
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 4

May 10, 1994 Solar Eclipse: 11:28AM-3:00PM
For me, this is the only eclipse I can remember experiencing. Path of totality went northeast from southern New Mexico through northern Ohio and off of Maine and Nova Scotia. In Columbus, coverage reached 87.48% and was the 2nd highest of the 20th Century. This was also the only solar eclipse of the century where the path of totality entered Ohio.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=19940510

2000-2009
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 4
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 0
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 14
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 7
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 7

No significant eclipses occurred in Columbus during the 2000s. The most significant was December 25, 2000, when coverage reached just 42.42%

2010-2019
Total Solar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 3
Total Solar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 1
Total Solar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 0
Total Lunar Eclipses that affected Columbus: 15
Total Lunar Eclipses with at least 75% coverage: 6
Total Lunar Eclipses with 100% coverage: 5

August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse: 1:04PM-3:52PM
The most significant eclipse so far this century, the “Great American Eclipse” is the first one to transit across the US west to east since 1898. Path of totality enters the US in Oregon and crosses Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville before exiting the country over Charleston, South Carolina. In Columbus, it will be the most significant solar eclipse since 1994 and the 3rd best since 1900, with 86.55% coverage.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=20170821

Significant Future Solar Eclipses

April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse: 1:55PM-4:26PM
This eclipse will be Columbus’ greatest at any time in the next 200 years. In the city itself, coverage will reach 99.88%, and one wouldn’t have to go very far northwest to see 100%.
https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/columbus?iso=20240408

After 2024, there are no eclipses that reach even 75% coverage until June 11, 2048, and none 80% or higher until May 11, 2078, and none over 90% until July 23, 2093. So enjoy today’s and the one 7 years from now, because after that, you’ll be waiting a very long time for another.

The Recovery of Downtown vs Cleveland and Cincinnati Part #2

Yesterday I talked about how the 1950 core population had changed the last 50 years. Today I want to focus just on the Downtown, or the Central Business District. This is a much smaller area for all three cities so there are far fewer tracts involved.

First, let’s look at the total Downtown populations since 1950.

This graph, I think, will surprise most people. The first surprise is that downtown populations in 1950 were not nearly as high as most would have you believe. Cincinnati did have almost 22K people there, but even a city like Cleveland had less than 10K, and that was during the absolute peak of its city population. Another surprise is that Columbus was not always the lowest populated downtown and was more populated than Cleveland’s in 1950. Finally, the last surprise is that while all the downtowns are now growing, Columbus has regained 2nd place and Cleveland has seen the most growth so far.

What about tract trends for the downtowns? Well first, here are the population trends for each downtown.

For Cincinnati, Tracts #4 and #6 were combined into #265 in 2010.

So no city had a single Downtown tract that was not growing in 2010. This is good news.

Here is the total population change by Downtown.

What about if these current trends continue, what might the downtown populations look like in 2020 or 2030?

If you think Cleveland has a very rapid rise for its Best Case scenario, that is because, to get the best case, I used the last decade’s growth rates and just assumed they would continue and compound growth. One of Cleveland’s tracts had a growth rate over 80% while another grew 271%. Still, while it’s the best case, it’s also highly unlikely to maintain growth rates that high for that long, so a more likely case is somewhere closer to Most Likely.

Finally, I wanted to look at more of the downtown area than just the central business district. “Downtown” for many includes more areas than that and may be a “Greater Downtown Area”, the measurement between the full 1950 boundaries and just the CBD.

Here are the tracts I considered to be the Greater Downtown area for each city.

Cincinnati: 2, 9, 10, 11, 263, 264, 265, 268
Cleveland: 1033, 1036, 1042, 1071, 1077, 1078, 1082, 1083, 1084
Columbus: 21, 22, 29, 30, 36, 38, 40, 42, 52, 53, 57

And the graph for the population of these tracts since 1950 and a projection out to 2020.

Cincinnati reached it’s lowest population for the past 60 years for this area in 2010, but just barely. It should be growing again by 2020, but I didn’t project the growth to be that high because it was still coming out of its lowest point. Cleveland’s greater downtown had the bottomed out in 1990 and had the fasted growth the past decade. Columbus managed to maintain the highest population in its greater downtown, bottomed out in 2000 and has grown since. However, not nearly as fast as in Cleveland. I expect Columbus to have better growth this decade and remain on top, but with Cleveland’s area closing the gap.


January’s Weather and A Look Ahead at 2013 Development

Weather-wise, the month is looking to have a warmup, albeit a brief one, from about the 7th-8th through the 13th or so. After that, all models are showing cold (possibly severe) returning, first in the Western 2/3rds of the nation and then gradually spreading east. This could set up a potential battle zone for the Great Lakes area around mid-month and after for at least one large storm event. Whether or not Ohio is on the cold side of it remains to be seen, but snow or not, the cold is going to come back in a big way. The Arctic Oscillation, or the AO, was a big reason for this. When it goes very negative and stays there, cold tends to flood into the country. This is what happened in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, and today’s forecast show it potentially plummeting to very negative levels. If that happenes, combined with the other indicators supporting it, look for January to finish out below to well below normal. Snowfall is a bit more tricky, though if the cold is there, so too usually is the snow.

Development-wise, 2013 looks to be a very busy year. Some major projects should be completed, such as the Brewery District’s Liberty Place Phase II and the Born Brewery Apartments, Neighborhood Launch’s Phase II projects Downtown and 600 Goodale. Other projects should get started including the first phase of Jeffrey Park in Italian Village, which will be a massive project once all said and done, Goodale Landing residential tower in Victorian Village, and Columbia Gas’ HQ building should break ground. The Hubbard project in the Short North should start rising this year, as well as the 11-story Joseph boutique hotel, office and garage complex just north of the 670 Cap in the Short North. We should also be seeing first draft plans for redeveloping long-declining Westland Mall, as well as tentative plans for the Scioto Peninsula behind COSI.

Beyond major projects, there are dozens and dozens of smaller renovations and other kinds of projects going on around the city, particularly the urban core. Combined, all these projects represent over 13,000 new residential units through 2015. It’s definitely an exciting time for urban Columbus and I can’t wait to see all the projects that will be announced this year.