LOCAL NEWS

Chance to see aurora borealis across Washington before Halloween

Oct 29, 2021, 3:23 PM
Aurora borealis...
The aurora borealis in the sky above northern Spokane in early October 2021. (WSDOT East, Twitter)
(WSDOT East, Twitter)

The skies will clear up enough by Saturday night that it may be possible to see aurora borealis in areas of the Pacific Northwest.

A G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for Saturday, Oct. 30, into Sunday, following a “significant solar flare and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun.” If the geomagnetic storm is strong enough — and if the weather conditions continue to be as optimal as predicted — Northwest residents as far south as Oregon may be able to see the northern lights the storm will create.

Impacts to technology for a G3 storm are generally nominal, says the Space Weather Prediction Center with NOAA, but it does have the potential to drive the aurora further from its normal polar residence. If other factors come together, it could be seen over the far Northeast, to the upper Midwest, and over Washington state.

As always, the farther away from city lights you can be, the better your odds of seeing the glow.

An aurora borealis made a brief appearance in night skies across Washington state earlier in October, thanks to a solar flare that emanated off the sun.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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Chance to see aurora borealis across Washington before Halloween