Rend Lake Solar Eclipse 2024

Rend Lake lies in South Central Illinois in Franklin and Jefferson Counties, 78 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, the nearest metroplex to Rend Lake. Mt. Vernon, Illinois is one of the best eclipse viewing hotspots next April 8, 2024. Rend Lake’s northeastern arm is nine miles south of Mt. Vernon. The path of totality of this eclipse is 115.8 miles wide. 

In Mt. Vernon, the partial eclipse begins at 12:44 p.m. CDT, the total eclipse starts at 2:00 p.m. CDT, the totality duration will be 3 minutes, 40 seconds and the final partial ends at 3:18 p.m. The Rend Lake solar eclipse times will begin shortly before those times.

The eclipse’s path enters Illinois where US 34 crosses the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, slightly north of Terre Haute, Illinois, south to the corner on the Illinois/Kentucky/Ohio border. It exits Illinois slightly northeast of Fort Wayne, Illinois, south to the corner of the Illinois/Missouri/Kentucky border. The low estimate of the number of visitors going to Southern Illinois to view the eclipse is 76,000, and the high is 304,000.

For folks who want to see the eclipse at Rend Lake, the best options for accommodations are campsites because there are very few hotels. Four campgrounds on Rend Lake offer 624 campsites for tents and RVs. There are five day-use parks. You can find out availability at by typing Rend Lake, Illinois, in the search box.

The City of Mt. Vernon, nine miles north of Rend Lake’s northeastern arm on its north end, has 11 motels and hotels. Whittington, on the southeast border has one hotel. Benton, two miles south of Rend Lake’s southern border, has three hotels. There are a few cabin rentals and very few vacation home rentals. Visitors should be aware of all the advance booking dates for reservations in Southern Illinois because lodging options will disappear quickly in the Rend Lake region. 

As with any eclipse, every interested person hopes for clear skies. According to the authoritative eclipse weather website,, “As the eclipse track reaches Illinois, it moves into the path of the mid-latitude spring storms: the Alberta Clipper, the Colorado Low, and their various cousins.” Weather conditions could result in a loss of money if hotel reservations are nonrefundable. 

This is an incredible event for Southern Illinois because Illinois experienced a total solar eclipse in the same spot in 2017. While several eclipses occur all over the world every year, any location on earth will only witness a total solar eclipse one time approximately every 360 years in the same spot. 

Total solar eclipses occur about every 18 months somewhere in the world and account for 27% of all eclipses. The 2017 total solar eclipse was the first total solar eclipse in the Continental U.S. since February 26, 1979. August 21, 2017 brought the first total solar eclipse exclusive to the U.S. since before the nation’s founding in 1776. After April 8, 2024, the next total solar eclipse in the Continental U.S. will rise through the skies in 2045. 

Partial, annular, and total solar eclipses comprise the types of eclipses. A partial eclipse looks like a two-circle Venn diagram with one circle dark and the other sun-colored. An annular eclipse is when you may see a ring of light around the moon, called a “ring of fire” eclipse. A total eclipse happens when the moon’s shadow completely swallows the sun and turns black as night in the daytime. 

The moon orbits the earth in 27.3 days as the earth rotates, and the earth orbits around the sun. As the earth turns, the view of the eclipse travels from west to east, which is the moon's shadow on earth. According to NASA, the oldest recording of a total solar eclipse is thought to have been recorded in petroglyphs at the Loughcrew Megalithic Monument in County Meath, Ireland, on Nov. 30, 3340 B.C. in the Neolithic era. 

Humans find eclipses fascinating and awe-inspiring, and have recorded eclipses that we know of since ancient Chinese scribes in Anyang wrote this about eclipses: “The sun has been eaten”. These scribes recorded eclipse dates on tortoise shells and oxen shoulder blades, called oracle bones, in 1226 B.C., 1198 B.C., 1172 B.C., 1163 B.C., and 1161 B.C. In today’s Syria, ancient Babylonians recorded solar eclipse on clay tablets, and their earliest recorded one was on May 3, 1375, B.C.

The 2024 eclipse will enter the North American Continent near Mazatlán on Mexico's Pacific Coast, cross Mexico’s central desert region, enter the U.S. at Texas, then pass over Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Next, it will travel into Canada over Southern Ontario and exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m., Newfoundland time.

NASA’s Shortened Time Table for the April 8, 2024, U.S. Total Eclipse


Partial Begins

Totality Begins


Totality Ends

Partial Ends

Dallas, Texas

12:23 p.m. CDT

1:40 p.m. CDT

1:42 p.m. CDT

1:44 p.m. CDT

3:02 p.m. CDT

Idabel, Oklahoma

12:28 p.m. CDT

1:45 p.m. CDT

1:47 p.m. CDT

1:49 p.m. CDT

3:06 p.m. CDT

Little Rock, Arkansas

12:33 p.m. CDT

1:51 p.m. CDT

1:52 p.m. CDT

1:54 p.m. CDT

3:11 p.m. CDT

Poplar Bluff, Missouri

12:39 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

3:15 p.m. CDT

Paducah, Kentucky

12:42 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

2:01 p.m. CDT

2:02 p.m. CDT

3:18 p.m. CDT

Evansville, Indiana

12:45 p.m. CDT

2:02 p.m. CDT

2:04 p.m. CDT

2:05 p.m. CDT

3:20 p.m. CDT

Cleveland, Ohio

1:59 p.m. EDT

3:13 p.m. EDT

3:15 p.m. EDT

3:17 p.m. EDT

4:29 p.m. EDT

Erie, Pennsylvania

2:02 p.m. EDT

3:16 p.m. EDT

3:18 p.m. EDT

3:20 p.m. EDT

4:30 p.m. EDT

Buffalo, New York

2:04 p.m. EDT

3:18 p.m. EDT

3:20 p.m. EDT

3:22 p.m. EDT

4:32 p.m. EDT

Burlington, Vermont

2:14 p.m. EDT

3:26 p.m. EDT

3:27 p.m. EDT

3:29 p.m. EDT

4:37 p.m. EDT

Lancaster, New Hampshire

2:16 p.m. EDT

3:27 p.m. EDT

3:29 p.m. EDT

3:30 p.m. EDT

4:38 p.m. EDT

Caribou, Maine

2:22 p.m. EDT

3:32 p.m. EDT

3:33 p.m. EDT

3:34 p.m. EDT

4:40 p.m. EDT

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Rend Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Rend Lake Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 93

Monday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 78


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 92

Tuesday Night

Thunderstorms Likely

Lo: 76


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 82

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 68


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 80

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 64

Rend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 10/13: 41.92 (-363.08)

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