- NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch into Thursday.
- The storms can drive the aurora further south from its usual position over the polar region.
- Another round of northern lights is possible on Thursday night.
Keep an eye to the sky again Thursday night if you live across the far northern US: The aurora borealis, or northern lights, may be making a rare appearance for the second night in a row.
Recent explosions on the surface of the sun have sent clouds of charged particles, known as coronal mass ejections, hurtling through the solar system, according to AccuWeather.
“These clouds of particles are predicted to collide with Earth’s magnetic field on Wednesday night into Thursday, sparking dazzling displays of the aurora,” AccuWeather’s Brian Lada said.
Although the best views of the aurora were likely Wednesday night, more are also possible Thursday night. However, the glow of the aurora probably will not be visible as far south as it was Wednesday night, AccuWeather said.
Auroras typically appear as rippling curtains of green, red or purple light.
Geomagnetic storms such as these can also affect infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on the surface, possibly disrupting communications, the power grid, navigation, and radio and satellite operations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
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But disruption suchs are unlikely from this event, Lada said.
Geomagnetic storm watch issued
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch into Thursday. This is the third level of NOAA’s five-level geomagnetic storm scale. (G1 storms are minor; G5s are considered extreme.)
The storms can drive the aurora farther south from its usual position over the polar region. Auroras for this storm may be visible, if weather conditions are favorable, as far south as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon, NOAA reported.
Earthsky.org said people in cities such as Minneapolis and Milwaukee could see the aurora overhead, while cities such as Lincoln, Nebraska, Indianapolis and Annapolis, Maryland, could see it on the northern horizon.
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Southern lights visible Down Under
The southern lights, known as the aurora australis, also can be visible in the far southern parts of the world such as Australia.