You Could See the Northern Lights Over Central New York This Week
Lift your eyes to the sky tonight! You may not have to book that trip to Alaska or Iceland just to see the Northern Lights.
Thanks to a couple of geomagnetic storms in the forecast, you actually may be able to see the famous Aurora borealis right here in Central New York. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, a geomagnetic storm happens when energy from solar wind hits the Earth's atmosphere. It's also what causes the beautiful colors of the Northern Lights.
The SWPC issued geomagnetic storm watches for December 9, 10 11. The organization expects the effects to arrive late Wednesday night, resulting in minor storm levels and a chance to see the Northern Lights in some Northern states across America, including New York. However, the SWPC expects activity from the storms to increase into Thursday and Friday, providing for more opportunities to see the lights.
While the forecast from Utica to Syracuse calls for mostly cloudy skies for most of Wednesday night, some partial clearing on Thursday might allow Central New Yorkers a peek at the phenomenon.
The SWPC also wrote in its alert to keep in mind that "while SWPC forecasters are fairly confident in CME arrival at Earth, timing and geomagnetic storm intensity are less certain." Basically, just keep in mind that these are forecasts and there isn't a guarantee that you'll see the Aurora Borealis here in Central New York.
Bundle up in your warmest winter coats, gloves and hats tonight and tomorrow, and head outside for a chance to catch a glimpse of the colors in the sky. And if you do happen to see the aurora, make sure you snap a picture and send it to us through our station app!
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