Where to find a Northern Lights Forecast - KMSP-TV

Where to find a Northern Lights Forecast

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The Aurora Borealis, known to more as the Northern Lights, made a one night appearance across many parts of the country this week including right here in Minnesota. Some incredible images have been showing up on the web and Facebook as this brilliant natural phenomenon was unfolding. Plenty of greens and reds could be seen on the horizon and even far higher in the sky than many are used to. These "lights" are the reaction to dangerous cosmic radiation that is launched off the surface of the sun and floats through space like a cloud on a sunny day. Our Ionosphere protects us from this dangerous cloud acting like a force field and gives us a brilliant show to enjoy. But many questions have been rising about how to find out about these before they happen so we can all view them as they unfold. There are some resources you can follow that will alert you when these storms arise, but predicting these storms is a pretty tricky business. There are hundreds of these Coronal Mass Ejections (solar storms) that get launched into space every year. Some make it to Earth and produce brilliant colors, others pass by without a flicker, and unfortunately it isn't always clear how or why this is. But if you are looking for a heads up, spaceweather.com is one of your best sources. They often have warnings at the top of their homepage to alert you to a possible solar storm. If you dig a little deeper, you can always bookmark THIS SPOT which is from NOAA. It shows the estimated Kp index… basically an index that shows the levels of radiation hitting the atmosphere. When the graph goes red, it means that the Northern Lights might be visible at lower altitudes, but it doesn't always mean they will be. Just something that will steer you in the right direction if you want to try and catch a glimpse of this marvel. Good Luck! Here are few pictures from this past event.

(The picture to the right is from the Fox9 Facebook page near Wadena courtesy of Andrew Wood.)

Courtesy of Laurie Kragseth on the shores of Lake Superior near Two Harbors.

Courtesy of Michael Aguirre somewhere in Minnesota.

Courtesy of Ryan Shepard in northern Colorado.

Courtesy of Jason Brownlee in central Oregon... and yes, they already have snow on the ground.

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