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Parts of the US have a chance of seeing the northern lights this week

Northern Lights over Michigan.jpeg
Posted at 8:20 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 10:13:51-04

A geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for Wednesday through Friday. The cause is a series of coronal mass ejections from the sun that started on Aug. 14.

The first one arrived to Earth on Wednesday, but the activity should increase with the peak being very early Thursday morning through sunrise. It is expected to increase to a level three geometric storm.

What that means is that there is a slight chance to see the northern lights in some areas in the northern U.S. states like Michigan on Thursday morning, especially during those last couple hours of dark before sunrise. The lights, by some estimates, could be seen as south as Maryland in very rural areas without light pollution.

Geomagnetic storms scale NOAA

So, if you are an early riser, get to a dark and open spot outside where you can observe the sky. It usually takes your eyes about a half hour to adjust to the dark.

Another way to get a chance to witness the northern lights is if the weather cooperates, of course. So check your local weather to see if clouds will be blocking your view, or rain.

If inclimate weather happens, it might make it harder to see the northern lights by dispersing the light so that it's not very visible, depending on where you are.

So, you take your chances by getting up early on Thursday morning. It is the best chance we have had in a while in certain parts of the country.

This story was published in its original form by WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan. This version includes additional reporting from the Scripps National Team.