Our reporters and photographers were stationed across the Northwest, covering traffic conditions and how people are marking the astronomical event. Here's a video of what it looked like from the sky.

Share story

Editor’s note: This is the live account of Monday’s solar eclipse. It is no longer being updated. Click here to view our full story. And you can see all of our eclipse stories here.

What you need to know:

• Americans’ first glimpse of the solar eclipse was at 9:05 a.m. near Depoe Bay, Ore. Here’s a helpful guide for understanding the celestial event.

• The total solar eclipse moved east across 14 states over the course of 1.5 hours, completely blocking the sun for a roughly 60-mile-wide strip of land.

• Millions of people converged upon this “path of totality,” creating a traffic situation “for which there has been no recent precedent in the United States,” transportation officials warned.

• People outside the path of totality saw a partial eclipse. In Seattle, the eclipse began at 9:08 a.m., reached maximum coverage at 10:21 a.m. and ended by 11:39 a.m.

• Our photographers and reporters were stationed in Oregon, in the Seattle area and even in the sky to mark the phenomenon. This is a live account of what they heard, saw and felt.

Update: 12:33 p.m.

Millions watched Monday’s solar eclipse from Earth — but here’s a glimpse of the celestial event from the sky.

Seattle Times photographer Dean Rutz captured this footage on board Alaska Airlines’ eclipse-chasing charter flight, which took off at 7:30 a.m. from Portland.

More on the eclipse

Update: 11:46 a.m. 

The sky show is in its final act.

And now it’s time for eclipse-chasers to worry about getting home.

Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon, had bumper-to-bumper traffic almost immediately after the solar eclipse reached its maximum level of awesome. Traffic was also heavy heading from central Oregon to Portland.

The Washington Department of Transportation said in a tweet: “Returning from Oregon now? Good luck. It’s really nasty.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation has spent days warning eclipse viewers to stagger their departure times, and not all leave at once.

Meanwhile, Idaho State Police are reporting that traffic remains at a standstill in eastern Idaho along both U.S. 20 south of Ashton and U.S. 26 going into Wyoming. Officials are encouraging drivers to be patient as crowds disperse from watching the eclipse.

In Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump planned to watch the cosmic spectacle from a White House balcony, the Associated Press reported.

The eclipse was expected to be the most watched and photographed in history.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Update: 10:49 a.m. 

Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton witnessed a crowd in Warm Springs, Ore., reacting to totality during the solar eclipse.

Update: 10:15 a.m. 

Here comes the darkness.

Update: 9:35 a.m. 

It’s happening.

The moon is tiptoeing across the sun, marking the first total solar eclipse in the Northwest since 1979.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” John Gakura, of Kent, said while watching in a group of thousands at The Museum of Flight. “We all get to see this.”

The solar eclipse in the Seattle area will reach maximum coverage at 10:21 a.m.


Update: 8:38 a.m. 

Get your glasses ready.

Just 30 minutes until the eclipse begins in the Seattle area.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people have gathered at The Museum of Flight. And roughly 2 miles away, a group is preparing for a viewing party at the South Park Community Center.

Meanwhile, more than 300 people are at the Bellevue library, planning to watch the eclipse from an upper floor.

McKenzie Schack of Shoreline and her friend Megan Guedel of Bellevue made it to the front by arriving at 6:30 a.m.

An ice-cream dealer, Ben Armlin, set up a cart in the vast library lawn to serve families as the temperatures heat up later this morning. His laptop is playing the Bonnie Tyler tune “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Update: 8:10 a.m. 

As spontaneous eclipse-chasers hit highways, now comes the traffic backups transportation officials have been warning us about.

The Oregonian is reporting an 8-mile jam on southbound Oregon Route 213, which runs north to south between Oregon City and Salem, for instance. Salem in is the solar eclipse’s path of totality.

“Most have found their way to their destination,” the newspaper says. “But many plan to leave immediately after the eclipse, which could cause even worse traffic jams than those seen before the event.”

Nathan Boyd is watching the event from Salem.

And for him, the solar eclipse marks more than just a celestial extravaganza — He’ll turn exactly 20 years old when the moon covers the sun around 10:15 a.m.

“It’s a little creepy,” said Boyd’s brother, Alex, 23. “We expect him to start floating in the air or something.”

The brothers and friends Travis Shelley and Lauren Mejia drove up from Los Angeles on Friday, spent the past couple nights in Portland, and left at 4 am to make it to the riverfront park in Salem to enjoy the celestial event.

Meanwhile, across Oregon on the Warm Springs Reservation, University of Washington scientists and tribal members are preparing to study the astronomical event.

They will use camera-equipped, high-altitude balloons to take images of the eclipse. The balloons are designed to reach altitudes of 100,000 feet and are equipped with GPS tracking so that scientists can retrieve them later.

The balloons will also carry tiny payloads, such as white sage that Sincere Martin and five other youth from the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in Idaho are sending up into the sky.

Martin, 17, says the white sage is used to cleanse minds of negative thoughts. After its exposure to the harsh upper altitudes, she hopes the dried sage will survive in good shape and can be put to use.

Here’s another eclipse event, a viewing party, roughly 100 miles away in Molalla, Ore.:

Update: 7:25 a.m. 

Whether you can expect unobstructed views and clear skies for the solar eclipse depends on your location.

Patches of fog and low clouds are lingering over some valleys and waterways in Western Washington.

Meanwhile, skies are mostly clear in the Seattle area.

Here are views from the Space Needle:

Meteorologists expect the cloudy skies in some areas to gradually clear over the next couple hours.

“It’s difficult to say if it will entirely clear out in any given spot,” National Weather Service meteorologist Doug McDonnal said. “If I were in Everett, I probably wouldn’t count on the clouds going away. … I would probably go to a clearer area.”

Update: 6:40 a.m. 

Some reporters are luckier than others. Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates will be chasing the eclipse story from the air.

If you’re not already there, you’re too late.

The roadways do look tempting, however. Traffic appears to be running smoothly in most areas. At 6:15 a.m., Google Maps estimated a trip from downtown Seattle to Salem, Ore., would take just 3 hours and 40 minutes.

In the Seattle area, the Washington Department of Transportation was reporting few serious traffic problems, though some slowdowns were developing on southbound I-405 near Tukwila and northbound I-405 near Highway 522 in the Bothell area. Northbound I-5 was also slow near Highway 516 in Kent.

Eclipse watchers started flocking to central Oregon by the thousands last week.

We’ll document the phenomenon with interviews, observations and images from across the Northwest.

Reporter Hal Bernton (@hbernton) is stationed in Warm Springs, Ore., about 60 miles north of Bend. He’s with University of Washington scientists and tribal members studying the astronomical event.

Photographer Greg Gilbert is roughly 15 miles away in Madras, Ore.

Soon, reporter Vernal Coleman (@VernalColeman) will be at a viewing party at Seattle’s South Park Community Center, while Erik Lacitis (@ErikLacitis) and photographer Bettina Hansen (@bettinahansenwill be roughly 2 miles away at The Museum of Flight‘s outside event.

Several community centers and libraries across the city — where about 92 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon — are hosting outdoor and live-stream viewing parties.

On the Eastside, reporter Mike Lindblom (@MikeLindblom) will be on top of a Bellevue library parking garage for a party.

Dominic Gates (@dominicgates) and photographer Dean Rutz (@deanrutz) will chase the eclipse from the clouds. They’ll be on Alaska Airlines’ special charter flight, which will take off at 7:30 a.m. from Portland.

The partial eclipse across Washington will range from about 87 percent coverage in Blaine, Whatcom County, to more than 99 percent in Camas, Clark County.

In Seattle, fans can expect unobstructed views and clear skies, the forecast shows.

Here is an interactive map (for desktop computers) that shows what the eclipse will look like by location.

But no matter where you are, use protective eyewear if you’re planning to stare directly at the eclipse.

People wearing protective glasses watch a solar eclipse in March 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia. A total solar eclipse will be seen in parts of Oregon on Aug. 21, while those in Washington will see a partial eclipse. Doctors say not to look at the sun without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun. (Dita Alangkara/The Associated Press)
People wearing protective glasses watch a solar eclipse in March 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia. A total solar eclipse will be seen in parts of Oregon on Aug. 21, while those in Washington will see a partial eclipse. Doctors say not to look at the sun without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun. (Dita Alangkara/The Associated Press)

Dr. Tony Huynh, an ophthalmologist, urges people to use glasses labeled ISO 12312-2, which are strong enough to filter the sun’s rays.

If you don’t have a pair, try these ways to view the eclipse without looking directly.

Also, NASA has tips on taking pictures, and this diagram helps explains how the moon — which is smaller but much closer to earth — is able to fully eclipse the sun.