Tonight’s Appearance of the Aurora Borealis

    Sometimes we get advance notice of the Northern Lights sometimes we don’t.  Last week when they were out in the Boundary Waters they just kind of showed up.  Tonight we will be prepared and as long as there are no clouds then we’ll be ready for the show of the aurora borealis.

An event on the Sun occurred on the 7th of June. Prompt arrival of high speed particles has already affected the atmosphere. Our model indicates that the shock wave will reach Earth on the 8th of June around 5pm GMT. This will be followed by a disturbance in the solar wind that should produce fairly extensive auroral displays within 24 hr after that time.

For the Northern Hemisphere, the aurora should be visible mainly in North America, since the sun is illuminating most of the auroral zone in Russia and Scandinavia. If the timing is right, the disturbance will lead to auroras visible from the Northern US on the night of the 8th.

Antarctica will see the display even beginning with the shock arrival on the 8th. For Tasmania and Southern New Zealand it will be the 9th.

It is difficult to predict what the K index will be during night of the 8th in North America, but it is reasonable to expect K=6 which would put the aurora over Milwaukee, and visible on the northern horizon on a line from Portland Ore, southern Nebraska, southern Indiana, to Washington, DC.

Go to the auroral forecast page at:

and watch the Short Term (1 hr) forecast. It will increase when the arrival of the disturbance is one hour away. It will also show you whether you can see the aurora from your vantage point, if you choose the map that shows your location.

If you are north of 55 deg latitude, it may be too light to see the aurora at night. Let us know of your success or failure and we will amend the section on the auroral forecast page called "Viewing the aurora in the Northern Summer".