Northern lights could flare up if you’re lucky

Mount Adams aurora
Northern lights shine over Mount Adams in a Sept. 27 image. ( via Brenda Turnbull)

The chances of seeing the northern lights are higher for the next couple of nights, but Western Washington’s trademark fall weather could cloud things over.


We’re talking about two types of weather here: The space weather side of the equation, relating to geomagnetic storms sparked by the solar wind, looks promising. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center says there’s a heightened chance of minor (G1) to moderate (G2) storms tonight and on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night’s space weather forecast suggests an aurora should be visible across the northern tier of the United States.

However, the atmospheric weather side of the equation plays a role as well. National Weather Service’s Seattle office notes that clouds will be approaching Western Washington after midnight.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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