Northern lights may be visible in Pennsylvania, New Jersey due to geomagnetic storms

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says several eruptions from the sun Sunday are headed towards Earth.

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Friday, August 19, 2022
Northern lights may be visible in Pa., NJ due to geomagnetic storm
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Because of the strength of a geomagnetic storm, the northern lights could make a rare appearance over the skies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey Thursday and Friday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- More Americans may get a glimpse of the northern lights without leaving the country.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says several eruptions from the sun Sunday are headed towards Earth.

Those eruptions could cause strong geomagnetic storms as soon as Thursday.

According to NOAA, those storms could shift the aurora borealis, a stunning display of color from energized particles at the Earth's poles also known as the northern lights, further south.

That means if weather permits, people as far south from the polar region as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa and Oregon may be able to see the light show Thursday and Friday nights.

So what are the chances we'll be able to see it in our area?

Here's what the 6abc AccuWeather Team has to say:

"Today the Space Weather Prediction Center is predicting a strong geomagnetic storm (G3) due to several coronal mass ejections from the sun combining and hitting the earth's atmosphere. Thursday night will be the best chance of seeing the aurora. According to the University Of Alaska's Aurora Forecast, the northern half of our viewing area has the best chance of seeing it locally, but even places as far south as North Carolina have a slight chance of seeing it low on the horizon. As is usually the case, the highest chances of seeing this are across Alaska and southern Canada well to our north. The good news is the weather will cooperate with mainly clear skies Thursday night so if the aurora is indeed visible in our area you will be able to see it."

They do note the geostorms could also cause some problems here on Earth.

They could disrupt the electric power grid as well as GPS, radio and satellite operations.