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Northern Lights will shine this weekend, and possibly as far south as the Sooner State

A Solar Plasma Ejection will allow for a beautiful light display for portions of U.S. Halloween weekend
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) -

The Northern Lights will be visible low on the horizon as far south as the Oklahoma City Metro on Saturday. The best viewing opportunity will come late tonight with another possible chance to witness the spectacle on Saturday night.

The highly active Aurora display is caused by a solar flare eruption, also known as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), that occurred on Thursday. The ejected charged solar plasma particles are traveling toward Earth, and mixes with the magnetic field. This allows for aurora beams to glisten overhead in portions of the U.S. The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Saturday and Sunday.

Geomagnetic Storms range on a scale from G1 to G5. G1 is a minor storm, while G5 is an extreme geomagnetic storm. A G3 watch has been issued for October 30th, which is the potential for a “Strong” Geomagnetic Storm. Storms of this magnitude allow for the jaw-dropping light display to be visible further away from the Poles. On October 31st, a ”Moderate” storm watch, G2 Geomagnetic Storm, has been issued.

Northern Lights will be most visible in the Midwest and Northern Plains
Northern Lights will be most visible in the Midwest and Northern Plains(KSWO)

The SWPC says areas as far south as Oregon, over into northern Kansas and into Pennsylvania will have a great chance to see the Northern Lights overhead. Here in in the Sooner State, Oklahoma City is on the cusp for viewing the colorful light display extremely low on the horizon overnight into Saturday Morning. As you head north, you can catch more and more of the Northern Lights along the horizon. Saturday night will be harder to see in Oklahoma, as the Geomagnetic storm is expected to be weaker.

This is what it might look like in portions of Oklahoma.

Faded View of Northern Lights
Faded View of Northern Lights(KSWO)

According to the SWPC, Geomagnetic Storms of this magnitude can cause an interference with GPS signals, Air Traffic Control communications, and radio signals. In 2003, major solar flares allowed for places as far south as Florida to view the Northern Lights.

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