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Aurora Borealis a.k.a Northern Lights, Possibly Visible Late Tonight

Posted by David Epstein  January 9, 2014 09:42 PM

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There has been a lot of excitement about the possibility of seeing the aurora borealis or northern lights overnight. These types of phenomena are difficult to predict, but there are places that try.

I'll update any new information on Twitter @growingwisdom and please send me your reports there.
What we do know is that the aurora go through periods of activity and lulls. There are numbers that predict the strength of the storm and these numbers give a good indication of how far south the storm will be seen.

On the following map, the Kp of 7 line is north of Boston and across southern New Hampshire. If a prediction of a Kp of 7 or higher appears, then the chances are good to see the aurora storm.
northern lights.png

Below is a sample Kp forecast from earlier this evening. Click here for the latest forecast.
The best place to look is north and the further south you are, the lower on the horizon the lights will appear. The moon is a factor tonight, but skies remain clear as of mid-evening. I don’t expect clouds to be factor until the wee hours of the morning, perhaps after 3 or 4 AM.
kp number.jpg

The aurora are one of those magical phenomena which once you see them, you will never forget. I wish I could be more definitive as to whether or not you will see them tonight, but like many things in nature, we just have to wait and see. Another good site to check the latest forecast besides the earlier one I referenced is seen here.
Good luck

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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