Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued, Northeast Could Be In For Northern Lights Show

Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued, Northeast Could Be In For Northern Lights Show

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a moderate geomagnetic storm watch for July 16 and 17. This set off a chain of events that led up to a CME, or Coronal Mass Ejection.

So when this energy arrives near earth on Sunday, it could spark a geomagnetic storm and brilliant auroras at far northerly latitudes.

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If you can find locations without a lot of street light, such as Spanish Banks or the top of Burnaby Mountain, you might get a better view. If the flares are really powerful, the southern extent of the aurora can make it into New England and this could be the case Sunday night.

The aurora borealis - the "Northern Lights" - is a region of charged gases in the ionosphere, a region around 50 miles above the earth's surface.

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The Northern Lights should be visible in states like Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Michigan, northern NY, much of New England, Washington and northeastern OR, according to USA Today and KATU. If the Kp levels reach 6 and 7, that is when New England and even Boston can have an opportunity to see the lights. Remember, we are hoping for Kp levels of 6 or higher, a 7 or 8 would be awesome and nearly enure sightings of the northern lights in southern New England.

But this weekend might also offer an opportunity for Lower Mainlanders to see the Northern Lights, which are also called Aurora Borealis. Twitter is another good resource.

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The aurora could be visible as far south as the green or yellow lines on this map. The further north you are the better the viewing.

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