- A giant cloud of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) is coming on Saturday, which means people in some parts of the northern US may see the Northern Lights then, the NOAA said.
- The phenomenon is due to the combination of the oncoming CME and a small solar flare that struck earlier this week.
- Seeing the Northern Lights “is not a guarantee but conditions are favourable,” meteorologist Joe Charlevoix said.
Cities as far south as New York and Chicago may see the Northern Lights on Saturday due to an unusual geomagnetic storm, meteorologists said.
A giant cloud of charged particles from the solar corona – the layer of gas surrounding the sun – known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to arrive on Saturday.
This in turn could increase the reach and intensity of the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, to parts of the northern US over the weekend, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
Meteorologist Joe Charlevoix tweeted that the Northern Lights would likely be visible on Saturday night. “This is not a guarantee but conditions are favourable,” he said.
According to the NOAA’s graph, some parts of states like Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania might be able to see the lights:
Laura Tobin, a weather presenter for UK breakfast show Good Morning Britain, said that some northern areas of Britain could also see the Northern Lights.
The phenomenon is due to the combination of the oncoming CME and a small solar flare – a sudden, high-energy blast of increased brightness on the sun – that hit on Wednesday, the NOAA said.
The solar flare disrupted some radio operators in Europe and Africa, CNET reported.
— Northern Lights Now (@NorthLightAlert) March 21, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of people travel to northern regions like Iceland, Norway, and Alaska every year to see the Northern Lights.
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