There’s An Increased Chance To See The Northern Lights This Weekend
NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is calling for an chance of seeing the Northern Lights this weekend in the Twin Ports region courtesy of a solar flare that sent some energy our way that will come into contact with Earth's atmosphere this weekend.
Solar energy comes into contact with our atmosphere all the time, which is what causes auroras or Northern/Southern Lights. The strength of these solar events is measured on something called the KP index, which is used to indicate the severity of a global magnetic disturbance in near-Earth space. It works on a scale of 0, which is "very quiet" to 9, which is "very disturbed". The KP index prediction for Saturday night is somewhere around 4 on Saturday night, which is "moderate".
This "moderate" rating for this weekend will bring the extent of seeing the Northern Lights in Northern Minnesota, and as far south as Central Minnesota or even further south if things end up on the stronger end of the spectrum. The best normal viewing times for the Northern Lights are between midnight and 3 am, with a chance of seeing them before or after that window. You can see in the image shared by the SWPC below a map that shows approximate lines of visibility during events of different KP index values.
You can also track aurora visibility with an animated forecast map the SWPC offers by tapping the button below. On that map, areas shaded in green have a low to moderate chance of seeing the Northern Lights, while areas in yellow and red have a high chance.