Thick cloud thwarts attempts to photograph solar eclipse from Sussex

A near-total eclipse of the sun has begun, but cloud cover across much of the UK could be set to disappoint many.

People, with special glasses, watch as an eclipse of the sun begins over the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

Forecasters believe that Lincolnshire and the Midlands through to southern parts of Wales might be treated to the best celestial show as the moon moves in front of the sun at around 9.30am, covering up to 97% of its surface.

There is also a possibility that northern parts of the South West Peninsula - including Devon and Somerset - will also see clouds part in time for the lunar phenomenon.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

North of the border, there should also be a bit of brightness towards the bay surrounding Inverness - with rain overnight having cleared and helping to pave the way for some breaks in the cloud this morning.

While those in the South East may miss seeing the eclipse due to cloudy conditions, they will be aware it is happening, Met Office forecaster Kate Brown said.

“The South East corner is currently overcast and is going to stay that way into the time of the eclipse. But even if people don’t see it happening they will still be able to sense it getting darker during that time.”

Cloud is likely to cover the rest of the country, becoming thicker in the north - but no-one can predict when there might be a curtain-raising break in the cloud at any given location in the UK.