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Supercharged aurora borealis could light up weekend night sky

October 29, 2021

The National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have issued a G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm Watch, in effect for Saturday and Sunday, October, 30-31. It could disrupt some electronics devices and radio signals, but should bring supercharged northern lights displays readily visible across Canada and the northern United States from Portland, Oregon, to New York City, and possibly on the horizon as far south as Oklahoma City.

Cloud cover permitting, viewing should be good throughout North and central Idaho, across Washington, and throughout western Montana.

The watch comes following a significant solar flare and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun that occurred around 11:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time Thursday, October 28.

Analysis indicated the CME departed the Sun at a speed of 973 km/s and is forecast to arrive at Earth on October 30, with effects likely continuing into October 31.

When the CME approaches Earth, NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite will be among the first spacecraft to detect the real time solar wind changes and SWPC forecasters will issue any appropriate warnings.

Impacts to technology from a G3 storm are generally nominal. However, a G3 storm has the potential to drive the aurora further away from its normal polar residence.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher  

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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