Geomagnetic Storm Watch issued with incredible Northern Lights display set to light up sky in the US

Geomagnetic Storm Watch issued with incredible Northern Lights display set to light up sky in the US

WATCH NOW: 17 US states may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights tonight

GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 22/01/2024

- 19:15

Updated: 22/01/2024

- 21:27

Residents in 17 American states could witness the aurora borealis tonight

A geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for Monday and Tuesday which may result in the Northern Lights brightening up the sky over some US states.

The Space Weather Prediction Centre (SWPC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it had detected an eruption of solar material.

The SWPC said they observed the eruption, also known as a corneal mass ejection, on Sunday morning.

It is expected to cause moderate geomagnetic storming which could result in the aurora borealis phenomenon occurring.

Northern lights

Some of the US states will be able to see the northern lights tonight


Residents in 17 lucky US states could be in for a treat as the Northern Lights are likely to become visible tonight.

According to the SWPC, people in Alaska and those throughout large parts of Canada are expected to see the beautiful display of lights.

However, others may also be in for a glimpse. Northern and Midwestern states near the Canadian border should make sure to keep an eye out of their window.

These include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan.


States in the Northeast and New England could also be in for a show, including Upstate New York and most of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The NOAA suggests that in order to get the best chance at seeing the dazzling display, pick a spot that is far away from city lights and glare.

They also recommend wrapping up warm due to the wintery weather.

The agency says that the best aurora typically shows up to hours on either side of midnight, making 10.00pm to 2.00am prime viewing times.

The natural phenomenon is due to occur because of a corneal mass ejection, described as an explosion of plasma and magnetic material from the sun that can reach Earth in under 18 hours, NOAA explains.

Northern lights in Sweden

Geomagnetic storming which could result in the aurora borealis phenomenon occurring


According to Nasa, corneal mass ejections create currents in Earth’s magnetic fields that send particles to the North and South Poles.

When combined with oxygen and nitrogen, they give off light and create auroras.

“It’s essentially the Sun shooting a magnet out into space,” Bill Murtagh, program coordinator for the SWPC told Nexstar.

“That magnet impacts Earth’s magnetic field and we get this big interaction.”

This interaction is known as a geomagnetic storm. They can play havoc with electric grids, GPS and radio waves, causing communications blackouts.

However, because the storm has been ranked as moderate by the agency, officials have said that “the general public does not need to be concerned”.

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