NOTTINGHAM, MD—”Aurora borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country?”
Forecasters say the Northern Lights may be visible in Maryland on Thursday night, thanks to a geomagnetic solar storm.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm watch this week, stating that there is the potential for an aurora borealis to be seen Wednesday and Thursday in across portions of the Mid-Atlantic.
“While SWPC forecasters are fairly confident in CME (coronal mass injection) arrival at Earth, timing and geomagnetic storm intensity are less certain,” the agency said in its forecast.
Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances are sometimes strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma.
In Maryland, look to the north after dark and you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
More information is available in the graphics below from NOAA.