GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's not a guarantee -- but Mother Nature could be putting on a light show over parts of the United States Wednesday night into Thursday evening, including here in Michigan.
On Monday, Dec. 7 a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), which is an event where the sun releases a significant amount of charged particles, was detected by the Space Weather Prediction Center. The particles generated by this event are predicted to reach Earth starting Wednesday night and lasting through Friday, Dec. 11.
As a result the Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a Geomagnetic Storm Watch.
So, what does this mean for our chances of being able to see the Northern Lights?
It means there is a chance. 🌌
Right now, the entirety of Michigan is inside the southernmost zone that could see the Northern Lights according to an image posted by the National Weather Service Office in Cleveland, Ohio.
The highest activity is expected on Thursday, Dec. 10, but if that peak falls during daylight hours we won't be able to see anything. Our best chances are late Wednesday night/Thursday morning or Thursday evening.
We should be looking at mostly clear to partly cloudy skies overnight Wednesday into early Thursday, but Thursday evening will see increasing cloud cover.
While seeing the Northern Lights in West Michigan still is not a certainty, if you want to give it a shot Wednesday night or Thursday, best viewing will be in areas of open skies away from city lights. Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness and look toward the north. You will want to look for a green, or sometimes red, glow to the sky.
You can track the latest short term Aurora Forecast here.
Of course if you take any photos of the lights be sure to share them with us here at 13 On Your Side and remember to dress warmly!
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