(KTXL) — An aurora may be possible to view in the Pacific Northwest Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Two solar eruptions from a single sunspot released charged particles toward the Earth on Monday. The first eruption was overtaken by the second, making this a cannibal coronal mass ejection.
The charged particles combined to form a more powerful geomagnetic storm.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, once these particles meet Earth’s magnetic field Wednesday night, the result will be a G3 geomagnetic storm. G3 storms are categorized as strong and often result in mid-latitude auroras.
A forecast by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute shows the northern lights could possibly be seen in some of the northernmost communities of California and are likely to be seen in much of Oregon and Washington — that is, if cloud cover doesn’t conflict with the lights.
According to NOAA, geomagnetic activity will be highest from 5 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday. Clear, dark skies are best for viewing an aurora, the University of Alaska Fairbanks says.
G3 storms have the potential to require voltage corrections, create GPS issues and disrupt satellites.