June 20, 2024

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Where to see the northern lights tonight

Where to see the northern lights tonight

Top line

Just one month after the northern lights appeared spectacularly over the continental United States, the aurora borealis will return to Canada and the northern United States on Saturday and Sunday nights – following a rare second government warning of a geomagnetic storm – although the light show will not be as far-reaching as Last month.

Key facts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an alert on Friday, warning that a geomagnetic storm could once again disrupt communications due to “moderately severe” disturbances to the Earth’s magnetic field, while allowing lights to return.

Solar activity has been unusually busy in recent months, with the 11-year solar cycle approaching its expected date summit In July 2025, with sunspots expected to intensify over the next year, which could lead to more geomagnetic storms.

On the heels of a flare-up of solar activity and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alert last month — the first of its kind in nearly 20 years — NOAA issued another alert on Friday, warning that a geomagnetic storm could disrupt Communications again due to “moderate intensity” disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field. , allowing the lights to come back on.

The so-called latitude — the southern point where scientists expect the lights to be visible — is expected to shift south Sunday night, giving residents along the U.S.-Canada border a better chance of catching the aurora, depending on cloud coverage.

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Where will the northern lights be visible tonight?

The lights, which are usually best seen around the Arctic Circle between September and May, will likely be visible across much of Canada on Saturday night from British Columbia to northern Ontario, Quebec and Labrador. according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

There will also be a slight possibility of seeing the lights in the northern United States on Saturday night, including Alaska, Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Maine. The best place to see the lights on Sunday is Alaska, where scientists expect residents to have a strong chance of seeing them.

What is the best way to see the northern lights?

the Best Time To view the lights between 10pm and 2am, when geomagnetic activity increases and the aurora are at their strongest.

What you should pay attention to

clouds. Forecasters with National Weather Service Expect parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern New England, and upstate New York to be covered in overcast skies Saturday night, with a 100% chance of cloud cover over Buffalo around 11 p.m., a 72% chance of cloud cover over northern Washington at the same time, and a 77% chance % in northern Maine. The odds of seeing the northern lights are improving overnight in the Pacific Northwest, with the chance of sky coverage dropping to 50% in northern Washington by 2 a.m. Sunday (65% chance at 5 a.m.), while overcast skies are expected to thicken. In northern New England overnight, with a 75% chance in northern Maine at 2 a.m. (84% chance at 5 a.m.).

Main background

The northern lights stunned stargazers in the United States and Canada last month, the result of an “extreme” magnetic storm that made what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) described as an “unusual and potentially historic event.” For several nights, the lights flash in shades of purple, green and blue over northern California, the Great Lakes, New York, New England and down to the Carolinas and Alabama. Just days later, NOAA scientists predicted the lights would return later in May and into June, following a solar flare larger than the one that produced the first northern lights, while also threatening to disrupt satellite communications.

In-depth reading

ForbesThe northern lights sweep the United States from California to Florida in a “potentially historic event” (photos)

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