Will The Hudson Valley See the Northern Lights This Week?
A giant Coronal Mass Ejection is heading for Earth. A statement like that probably triggers the imagination (and maybe not in the best way), but this could mean the Hudson Valley and other parts of the Northern U.S. might see something really cool in the night skies the next few nights. That's if, of course, the weather holds out. This is one of the cloudiest times of year, and New York state lies in one of the cloudiest regions in the U.S..
We don't always have much luck with these sort of events.
Thrillist is reporting that the Aurora Borealis, an occurrence normally closer to the higher latitude areas near the Artic, could be seen as far south as places like New York and Pennsylvania Wednesday, and Thursday night. Known to most across the U.S. as the Northern Lights, the ghostly glowing green display might be visible in our skies due to a large magnetic storm happening on the Sun. That's what the big ejection thing is all about.
NOAA"s Space Weather Prediction Center issued G1, G2, and G3 geomagnetic storm watches for the nights of Wednesday, December 9, and Thursday, December 10, with the best chance for viewing on Thursday night. A G3 is half way up the scale- with 1 being the weakest, and 5 the strongest.
The Northern and Southern lights are the result of giant solar winds that carry ionized particles that slam into the Earth's atmosphere. That is basically what causes the stunning lights in the sky. While not an everyday occurance, the Northern lights have been seen in the skies as far south as the Hudson Valley and the Catskills before. Sometimes these predictions can lead to quite a show in the night skies, and sometimes not. The best chance to see them, according to the SWPC? Between Wednesday night around 11 P.M. to 2 A.M. Thursday morning.
So, the weather forecast? The clouds that hung around Wednesday should be moving out by night, giving the Hudson Valley a chance to see the lights. Thursday night will see variable cloudiness, according to Hudson Valley Weather. Look up towards the northern horizon and be sure to be far away from city lights for best viewing. Also, hope the damn clouds move out.