DISCUSSION: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states the Aurora Borealis is “the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.” Within these collisions the electrons release their energy into the form of light which then allows for the aurora to be seen, often 80-500km above the Earth’s surface.
A recently published 24 hour aurora forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) offers a test product based on the predicted global geomagnetic activity index, Kp. This test product is an indication that the aurora can be observed at the optimal times before sunrise or after sunset. While only a test product, several enhancements have already been added such as the view line (red) to indicate how far away viewers on the ground might see the aurora.
With today’s forecast viewers in Northern New York to Maine should get a view if atmospheric conditions prove to be clear. Canada can expect to see much of the aurora throughout all of its provinces.
For more information on space weather or the aurora borealis visit the Global Weather and Climate Center!
© Meteorologist Jessica Olsen
NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017.
*Please note these products are still in testing at NOAA