Dry, mostly cloudless conditions expected for 2018's final Manhattanhenge
By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
July 13, 2018, 4:52:35 AM EDT
Share this article:
New Yorkers and tourists may be in for a treat as Manhattan’s famed sunset prepares to bathe the borough in a dazzling glow for the final time in 2018.
Clouds got in the way of amazing photos for Manhattanhenge’s first two occurrences of the year in May. However, AccuWeather anticipates dry, likely cloud-free conditions as the unique phenomenon happens for the fourth time on July 13.
While Friday is expected to be sunny during the day, spectators may have to keep an eye on high clouds that could roll in around sunset, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
“If that’s the case, then the sun would kind of have more of a milky appearance rather than the puffy, lower-level cumulative clouds,” he added.
The Manhattanhenge sunset, which happens when the sunset perfectly aligns with the east- and westward roads of Manhattan’s grid, is set to occur at 8:21 p.m. EDT Friday.
Temperatures around these times on Friday are expected to hover around the upper 70s F, Dombek said.
The thousands of observers anticipated to flood Manhattan’s streets for the event are advised to arrive a half-hour early.
On Thursday, spectators were treated to a stunning view of the sunset lighting up the sides of buildings along the north and south portions of Manhattan’s streets.
In 2002, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term “Manhattanhenge,” which derives its name from the popular Stonehenge summer solstice event that occurred just weeks ago in the United Kingdom on June 21.
Similar “-henge” events take place in different cities including Chicago, Montreal and Toronto throughout the year.
“Note that any city crossed by a rectangular grid can identify days where the setting sun aligns with their streets,” deGrasse Tyson wrote on his blog.
A closer look at such cities, however, shows them to be less than ideal for this purpose when compared with New York City's Manhattan, according to deGrasse Tyson.
“Beyond the grid, you need a clear view to the horizon, as Manhattan has across the Hudson River to New Jersey, and tall buildings that line the streets create a vertical channel to frame the setting sun, creating a striking photographic opportunity,” he wrote.
What is New York's famous Manhattanhenge?
New York City's detailed forecast
More than just a pretty picture: The science behind stunning sunsets
Manhattanhenge stuns spectators in New York City
For the best viewing effect, deGrasse Tyson recommends finding a location as far east in Manhattan as possible, ensuring that New Jersey is still visible when looking west across the avenues.
Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th and several adjacent streets, while the Empire State and Chrysler buildings on 34th and 42nd streets make for a great sunset effect, he wrote.
While spectators may be caught up in the excitement of taking breathtaking photos of Manhattanhenge, they should make sure that they’re capturing the sunset safely to avoid any vision damage.
“While rare, it is possible that if you were to stare directly at the sun for several continuous minutes during a sunset that it could cause mild solar retinopathy,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ming Wang of the Nashville-based Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center.
“For this reason, it’s best to look away from the actual sun and look at the surrounding atmosphere, clouds and light rather than directly at the sun for the entire viewing time,” Wang said.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:39:36 AM EST
As cleanup efforts commence in the wake of Cyclone Gaja, another round of potentially flooding rain is aiming at southern India next week.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:18:01 AM EST
One of the most well-known meteor showers of the year is set to peak this weekend as the Leonids will be on full display across Europe.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 10:07:50 AM EST
Following the development of Tropical Storm Toraji near Vietnam, another tropical concern may brew in the coming days and impact the Philippines.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 9:58:12 AM EST
A storm will spread rain and wind through the Balkans with downpours grazing southern Italy into Sunday.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 8:30:18 AM EST
While there are currently no tropical threats in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Lenny was tracking the "wrong way" through the basin during mid-November 1999.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 6:12:58 AM EST
The weather will cooperate for a majority of those traveling by road or air for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a few exceptions.
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 1:30:54 PM EST
Drenching thunderstorms may do more than ruin weekend plans across central South America. Flash flooding can be triggered in some communities from northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay to southern Brazil.
Weather News - November 17, 2018, 8:28:26 AM EST
A major winter storm slammed the eastern United States Wednesday into Friday, causing travel disruptions, massive power outages, school closures, and numerous injuries and fatalities.