Northern Lights displays across US expected from severe geomagnetic storm

Severe Geomagnetic Storm Could Bring Northern Lights as Far South as Northern California and Alabama

A powerful geomagnetic storm is currently underway following eruptions from the Sun that sent plasma hurtling toward Earth. This event has the potential to produce stunning northern lights displays as far south as Alabama and Northern California.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued a Geomagnetic Storm Alert after monitoring Sun-observing satellites that recorded an X 1.1 solar flare and a coronal hole high-speed stream. These phenomena are known to cause geomagnetic disturbances that result in auroras when charged particles from the Sun interact with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Experts predict that the storm could reach a G3 rating, with G4 conditions expected through Monday. A G3 storm rating would make it possible to see auroras as far south as Washington, Wisconsin, and New York. With G4 conditions observed, the Northern Lights could be visible in even more southern regions such as Alabama and northern California.

Ground-based magnetometers are measuring geomagnetic activity on the Kp index scale, with a predicted Kp of at least 6 in cities like Seattle and New York. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is forecasting high aurora activity with Kp-6 levels continuing through Monday night.

While there are no anticipated adverse impacts from the storm, weather obstacles such as storm systems, showers, and cloud cover could hinder viewing opportunities of the Northern Lights. Geomagnetic storms have become more frequent as the Sun progresses toward the peak of Solar Cycle 25, which began in 2019 and is expected to last until 2030.

The public is advised to stay informed about the storm’s progression and be on the lookout for potential aurora sightings in the coming days.

You May Also Like

About the Author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *