The Sky: Watch for the Northern Lights in Florida this week

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Beautiful Northern Lights (credit: Harpa Hrund)

Beautiful Northern Lights (credit: Harpa Hrund)

Florida News: Solar storm expands Aurora Borealis

As sunny and warm as it is in Florida with its tall palms and gorgeous tropical flora and fauna, one can’t help but feel a tinge of envy for the residents of the far (very far) north who get to see the magic of Aurora Borealis. The Northern Lights. The way the colors dance across the sky – it’s a natural wonder like no other. And believe it or not, thanks to a solar storm expanding the reach of Aurora Borealis, it is possible that they can be seen from Florida this week.

The Northern Lights in Florida

A solar flare from the sun is causing a substantial geomagnetic storm in the North Pole and its reach will extend to the northern states. The chances aren’t great that Aurora Borealis will be visible in the sunshine state, but there is the slight possibility this week that it will be. If you feel it’s worth the risk to look for it, cast your gaze skyward tonight, when the chances may be best.

Aurora Borealis watching season

The best odds of anyone, anywhere, seeing The Northern Lights is between the autumnal equinox (September 22 of this year) and the end of October as this is the time period when geomagnetic storms are the most powerful. It’s these disturbances in the magnetic field around the Earth that cause the displays of aurora.

Signs to get outside

If your CB radio is skipping, that’s a sign that you should get outside that night or the night after, away from the lights of the city, and look to the sky. If you hear reports in the paper, on the radio or Television that shortwave radio communications have been interrupted or disturbed, that’s another sign!

The first appearance of The Northern Lights is generally subtle, starting out as a strange glow in the northern sky. Stick around, though, because if it is aurora, you’re in for a show.

This chart will help you see what the chances are that you’ll be able to see The Northern Lights. You’re going to want to see a purple bar reaching to 9. That higher number tells you that aurora will be seen further south.

Tell us…

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?