AP

Solar storm on Thursday expected to make northern lights visible in limited US states

Jul 11, 2023, 7:34 AM | Updated: Jul 12, 2023, 5:42 pm

Photo: An aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is seen in the night sky in the early...

An aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is seen in the night sky in the early morning hours of Monday, April 24, 2023, near Washtucna, Wash. (File photo: Ted S. Warren, AP)

(File photo: Ted S. Warren, AP)

A solar storm forecast for Thursday is expected to give skygazers in some states along the U.S.-Canada border a faint glimpse of the northern lights which — at their peak — produce a colorful sky show when solar wind hits the atmosphere.

Northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, are most often seen in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia, but an 11-year solar cycle that’s expected to peak in 2024 has the potential to make the lights visible in places farther to the south. Three months ago, the light displays were visible in Arizona, marking the third severe geomagnetic storm since the current solar cycle began in 2019.

The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has forecast auroral activity on Thursday, based on long-term outlook.

Auroral activity also has been forecast for Canada.

Those in small slices of the contiguous U.S. — including parts of Wisconsin, Michigan and Montana — could also get a peek. But for them, the aurora will probably be a “faint glow on the horizon” said Lt. Bryan Brasher, a project manager for NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center said people wanting to experience an aurora should get away from city lights and that the best viewing times are between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time.

Northern lights occur when a magnetic solar wind slams into the Earth’s magnetic field and causes atoms in the upper atmosphere to glow. The lights appear suddenly and the intensity varies.

___ This story has been updated to correct the extent to which people can see the northern lights from the United States on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

AP

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

9 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

1 day ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

3 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

4 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

4 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

5 days ago

Solar storm on Thursday expected to make northern lights visible in limited US states