Northern Lights could be visible in northern IL - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Northern Lights could be visible in northern IL

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Have you ever wanted to see the Northern Lights? You might just be lucky enough to see them tonight. However, you may need to go on a little drive north. A weak geomagnetic storm will take place through Saturday night and this means the Aurora Borealis will be visible farther south than usual. There have already been reports of people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and even northern Illinois being able to see the Northern Lights. 

There's a very small chance the greenish glow makes it to central or southern Illinois, but you could drive just off the north of I-88 and you might catch a glimpse of the lights. Your best chance of viewing will be driving north of Rockford into southern Wisconsin. 

The Aurora Borealis are the result of the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere being disturbed by solar wind. Skies will be mostly clear tonight and Friday night. To optimize potential viewing, head away from city lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. You'll want to look North along the horizon and try to avoid any trees or hills in your line of sight. You will also want as much flat ground ahead of you as possible. 

Below are a couple links you can use to see what forecasts are like for the Northern Lights. To make things simple, in central Illinois we would want a Kp value of 7 or 9 in order to clearly see the Northern Lights. 

Links: 

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/NorthAmerica/20171109

- Nick

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