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Northern Lights very possible starting Friday night

Potential is High

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NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a Severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Friday night, May 10. This is the 1st G4 Watch since January 2003! Since Wednesday the sun has produced several solar flares. The flares all came from a focused area on the sun. Space weather forecasters say at least 5 flares associated with Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) appear to be directed toward Earth. A cluster of flares like this is not typical as it comes from a spot on the sun, 16 times the size of Earth.

CMEs can cause geomagnetic storms on Earth due to their plasma and magnetic fields. When geomagnetic storms get intense they often create a very active aurora. Northern Lights may get intense. This is only a Watch and means the event is possible but not a guarantee they will impact Earth.

CMEs can also cause global problems to communications, navigation, satellites and power grids.


If the strength impacts Earth as forecast, the Northern Lights could be visible down to at least Tennessee.

Additional solar eruptions could cause geomagnetic storm conditions to persist through the weekend.

Below is the official Aurora forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center. I believe this is a bit conservative. We’ll get an update on the forecast on Friday. If all things come together as forecast, most of the state will be able to see the Northern Lights with the naked eye.

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The Doppler 9&10 Weather Team is watching this very closely. Our cloud cover forecast looks decent for viewing if it gets going.


Stay tuned for details.

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