Poster Presentation

NEBP - University of Idaho April 2024 Total Eclipse

  • Caeley Hodges (University of Idaho)
  • Konstantine Geranios
  • Logan Kearney
  • Chase Long
  • Kyren Mesenbrink
  • Cole Long
  • Ashley Keeley
  • William Schaal
  • Shashwot Niraula


On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse passed over Eastern North America. A team from the University of Idaho traveled to the shores of Lake Erie in North Springfield, Pennsylvania to be in the path of totality. Graw radiosondes were launched using weather balloons every hour on the hour starting on April 7th at 19:00 UTC ending on April 8th at 01:00 UTC (24 hours before the eclipse and 6 hours after). The thirty flight profiles were evaluated using three different analytical methods for determining the planetary boundary layer (PBL) height. By identifying the maximum potential temperature gradient in a flight profile, the ‘Potential Temperature Gradient Method’ indicates the planetary boundary layer height. The ‘Virtual Potential Temperature Method’ identifies large deviations in the atmosphere from ground values and determines that area to be the PBL height. The ‘Bulk Richardson Method’ uses stability calculations to determine that the planetary boundary layer height lies where a critical threshold is met. Since these three analytical methods vary in their determination of the planetary boundary layer height, other variables must be considered to determine the most accurate method for each flight profile. The atmospheric conditions analyzed were saturation, stability, and if a nocturnal boundary layer was present. During the April 2024 total solar eclipse, the planetary boundary layer dropped and stayed low, similar to a nocturnal boundary layer; on a day without an eclipse, one would expect to see a large increase in the planetary boundary height due to radiation. These findings are consistent with the expected outcomes.

How to Cite:

Hodges, C., Geranios, K., Kearney, L., Long, C., Mesenbrink, K., Long, C., Keeley, A., Schaal, W. & Niraula, S., (2024) “NEBP - University of Idaho April 2024 Total Eclipse”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2024(2). doi:



Published on
31 May 2024
Peer Reviewed