Northern Lights may be visible in Chicago tonight

Recent storms on the solar have despatched a flood of charged particles towards Earth.

This raises the potential for what space climate forecasters discuss with as a GEOMAGNETIC STORM. Such storms end result from an interplay between a flood of charged particles propelled towards Earth by Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)—big storms on the solar which are sometimes seen as immense flares, the size of which is evident from the accompanying NASA graphic, and the magnetic subject which surrounds our planet.

These storms can influence radio communications, earth-orbiting satellites, energy grids and pipelines, particularly at excessive latitudes, and set in play auroral shows we discuss with as Northern Lights.


The flood of charged particles, known as plasma, MUST be Earth directed, attain the higher environment at instances the place daylight doesn’t intervene with viewing the ensuing northern lights shows plus it should truly make contact with Earth’s magnetic layer.

If the flood of particles misses Earth and simply passes by or in the event that they hit in periods exterior the darkness of night time, then observers may be denied an auroral show.

History has proven forecasts of Northern Lights are difficult and may not all the time find yourself producing a northern lights show which is observable. These plasma discharges are modeled, however as huge as they’re don’t all the time hit the mark– specifically Earth’s environment–which in comparison with the vastness of space, is a relatively small goal.



G3 Watch

Thursday, Aug. 18, the surges of plasma from a number of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are anticipated to reach close to the Earth, resulting in an escalated geomagnetic response. Communications on Earth may be disrupted, together with energy grids, GPS and different satellite tv for pc means.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center says this might set off a show of Northern Lights farther south than they usually happen, doubtlessly making the auroras borealis visible in elements of the Midwest, the far northeast, and elements of the north-central states.

Areas as far south as Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa may see the aurora.

G2 Watch

CME influences are anticipated to proceed on Aug. 19, prompting a reasonable geomagnetic storm look ahead to the tip of the week.

NOTE: I’m together with forecasts of potential auroral exercise from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.


Here’s an inventory of potential impacts:

Potential Impacts: Area of influence primarily poleward of 55 levels Geomagnetic Latitude.

Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can happen. High-latitude energy techniques may expertise voltage alarms.

Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may happen; elevated drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is feasible.

Radio – HF (excessive frequency) radio propagation can fade at greater latitudes.

Aurora – Aurora may be seen as little as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.


Here is a technical dialogue of the GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH from forecasters at NOAA’s Space Weather Center:

G1-G3 Watches for 17-19 August 2022published: Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 22:46 UTC

Geomagnetic storm watches are in impact for 17-19 August 2022 as a consequence of seemingly CH HSS and CME influences. A recurrent coronal gap (CH) excessive velocity stream (HSS) is anticipated to attach with Earth first, on 17 Aug. The resultant elevated and disturbed photo voltaic wind subject is assumed to be sufficient for potential G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm situations on 17 Aug. Geomagnetic responses are more likely to escalate to G3 (Strong) situations on 18 Aug because of the arrival at or close to Earth of a number of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which have departed the Sun since 14 Aug. Despite the quite a few CMEs, most are anticipated to have little to no influence at Earth, nonetheless, at the very least 4 have potential Earth-directed elements. The most up-to-date flare-associated CME passed off from small, however complicated, Region 3078 at 3:58 am EDT (0758 UTC) on 16 Aug, whereas the primary CME in this chain of exercise passed off on 14 Aug. Forecast confidence is low to reasonable relating to Earth influence of those CMEs, as many of the ejecta is predicted to go both forward or south of Earth’s orbit. However, mannequin runs point out mixed arrival of a few of these CMEs at or in the neighborhood of Earth starting 18 Aug – due to this fact, the G3 (Strong) storm watch is in impact for that day. Any CME influences are more likely to proceed on 19 Aug and a G2 (Moderate) storm watch is posted accordingly.When the CME approaches Earth, NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite tv for pc will be among the many first spacecraft to detect the real-time photo voltaic wind adjustments and SWPC forecasters will subject any applicable warnings. Impacts to our technology from a G3 storm are normally minimal. However, a G3 storm has the potential to drive the aurora additional away from its regular polar residence, and if different elements come collectively, the aurora may be seen over parts of Pennsylvania, Iowa, to northern Oregon. For further details about space climate, geomagnetic storms, aurora and viewing ideas, and CMEs – click on the phrases. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is the official supply for space climate forecasts, watches, warnings and alerts. Visit for updates.

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