Look Up Tri-Cities: Tonight Strong Northern Lights Are Expected
I have only seen strong northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, once in my whole life of living in Washington State. Tonight and Thursday night there is a forecast for possible strong northern lights even as far south as Tri-Cities.
The storm was announced in a tweet "@NWSSWPC have just issued a Watch for a G3 Geomagnetic Storm for the evening of 8/17 through 8/18. This could mean visible aurora borealis as far south as WA/OR border Wednesday night."
In case you don't know, northern lights are caused when solar winds collide with our atmosphere which causes lights in the magnetosphere. Last month there were two different northern lights events in the northwest even visible in Seattle.
The Space Weather Projection Center "issued a G3 geomagnetic storm." That is the 3rd highest level on the 5 point scale they measure magnetic events from the sun with. They go on to say that "Impacts to our technology from a G3 storm are usually minimal. However, a G3 storm has the potential to drive the aurora further away from its normal polar residence, and if other factors come together, the aurora might be seen over portions of Pennsylvania, Iowa, to northern Oregon."
The strongest storm is forecast for tonight (Wednesday), so head out where there are no city lights and get ready for a show...hopefully!
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