Forecasts show that the northern lights may be visible in some states on Sunday

(NEXSTAR) – Northern states from New York to Washington and possibly to Iowa may be able to see the northern lights on Sunday, current forecasts show.

In an alert issued Sunday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center warned of a moderate geomagnetic storm, caused by an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME.

Coronal ejections are explosions of plasma and magnetic material coming from the Sun Influence of navigation, communications and radio signals On the ground. They are also able to cause aurora borealis by creating currents in the Earth’s magnetic fields that send particles to the north and south poles, which then react with oxygen and nitrogen, according to NASA.

The Earth-directed coronal ejection was sparked by a filamentous explosion on Friday SWPC says. It is expected to impact us late Sunday, causing G1 level geomagnetic storms (the lowest level on Earth). Five-point scale). G2 storms are Likely for Monday.

SWPC’s current forecast shows that Canada and Alaska, covered in red in the image below, have the highest probability of seeing the northern lights on Sunday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the southern extent of the aurora — shown by the red line in the image below — could reach as far south as northern Nebraska and central Iowa.

This means that residents of Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, northern Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Michigan, and parts of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine may also have a chance to see the aurora borealis. .

Aurora forecast for Sunday, November 5, 2023 as of 9:30 a.m. ET. (NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center)

While SWPC is anticipating stronger geomagnetic storms on Monday, the forecast is not promising. Alaska and Canada still have a chance to see the northern lights, but the chance is slim for residents of northern Montana, North Dakota, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Northern Lights forecast for Monday, November 6, 2023, as of Sunday morning. (NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center)

However, SWPC reported on Friday that in addition to the Earth-directed coronal ejection, a high-speed coronal hole stream, or CH HSS, has been observed on the Sun. such as continuing medical education, CH HSS can cause geomagnetic storms On Earth it reaches G1 or G2 levels – which in turn can spark more northern lights.

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The CH HSS is likely to impact land between Wednesday and Friday, according to SWPC He said. Aurora forecasts for those days will not be available until at least Tuesday (SWPC only Stock forecasts for the current day and the next).

We may see more northern lights in the coming months.

The Sun reaches the peak of solar cycle 25, an 11-year period during which the Sun flips its magnetic poles, giving rise to space weather such as coronal ejections and CH HSSs. New projections show that it is possible It comes faster and is stronger than previously thought From January to October next year.

Not only does this mean more Northern Lights, but perhaps more More opportunities for those living in the southern United States to see them – but And its effects on our infrastructure.

An added bonus for the current solar cycle? The total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will occur near maximum of the cycle, meaning a good show for sky watchers. Noah He explains.

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