Look Up! Millions of People Can See the Northern Lights Tonight

Shaunacy Ferro
iStock / iStock

Thanks to a geomagnetic storm tonight, January 5, some people won’t have to travel all the way to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis will be visible as far south as the high latitudes of the U.S., meaning that Maine, Michigan, and other northern states could get a glimpse, according to NOAA and other weather centers (as spotted by the Daily Mail).

Outside the U.S., the lights may be visible in the UK, particularly Scotland, and in the central to northern regions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Tonight’s forecast calls for a G1 geomagnetic storm—the lowest level of geomagnetic storms. G1 storms happen about 1700 times per each 11-year solar cycle.

This is where NOAA predicted the storm to be around 4 p.m. ET:


And here’s where different levels of storms create the Northern Lights. This storm has a Kp level of 4 on a scale of 0 to 9. The higher the number, the greater the disturbance to the geomagnetic field.

Aurora Service

The winter is already the best time to see the Northern Lights since there are long, dark nights. To check out some sites that provide real-time updates on where you can see the lights, look over on AuroraWatch.

[h/t Daily Mail]