Space Weather Prediction Center Details Where You Can See Spectacular Northern Lights

noaa swpc map where you can see northern lights
If you were paying any attention at all yesterday, you probably noticed that the internet was ablaze with news of the incoming solar flares and the comensurate geomagnetic storms. It has since arrived, creating supercharged Northern and Southern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, which delivered dazzling light shows, most notably around the northern hemisphere. If you missed the first showing, you may have a few more opportunities tonight and tomorrow night. Beyond that, though, you can also keep track of other solar activity using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Yesterday, we reported that the sun emitted two strong solar flares on May 7th and 8th that were due to arrive late Friday. Originally, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issued a G4 (severe) Geomagnetic Storm Watch, which is the 2nd highest storm level behind G5 and the first watch of this type since 2005. However, after the flare impacted Earth, G5 extreme geomagnetic levels were observed around 7 pm EST, leading to quite the show for many people. With this level of strength, geomagnetic storms are expected to continue throughout the weekend with, albeit decreasing, Northern Lights visibility.

maps noaa swpc map where you can see northern lights

If you're eager to witness the Northern Lights, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center’s Aurora Dashboard is your best bet to track activity. It provides a glimpse into tonight and tomorrow night’s expected Aurora visibility, along with a 30-minute forecast to help you time your outdoor adventure. This, coupled with the 3-day forecast, offers a decent idea of when you might be lucky enough to catch the Northern Lights.

However, if you know there is going to be activity, it might just be worth grabbing a blanket and enjoying an evening outside stargazing. You never know what you might see, even if it isn’t the Northern Lights. Perhaps you will get to catch T Coronae Borealis exploding, which should be visible to the naked eye and as bright as the North Star.