RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The strongest geomagnetic storm of 2020 is expected to occur tonight lasting into early Friday morning.
The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when a major geomagnetic storm interacts with the charged particles in the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Usually, these are only visible north of the US/Canada border. Most of the time near the North Pole.
Flares from the sun has been strengthening this week meaning the Northern Lights may be visible far south once it gets dark tonight.
The big question is will central Virginians be able to get a glimpse of the dancing Northern Lights.
The answer is no.
Even though the weather conditions will be perfect, the energy will not be strong enough to make the lights visible in central Virginia. The graphic above shows that the Northern Lights will be visible on the horizon where the line cuts through northern Virginia. The shaded green areas including portions of Montana stretching to northern Maine, the lights will be visible overhead.
You may get a glimpse of the northern lights if you travel north, away from city lights and the higher in elevation you go the better chance you will have.
Aurora forecasts are based on a geomagnetic measurement called the kp index.
For the Northern Lights to be visible in central Virginia the kp index needs to be between 7 and 9. Unfortunately, central Virginia is not in that range. Anywhere south of the D.C area will not see it.
Latest Weather Updates
- We will have mild day with sunny skies but cooler weather will move in for the weekend.
- A meteor was seen streaking across the skies in Central Virginia early this morning as captured on video by Charlotte Nelson.
- Bitter cold air is headed toward the United States over the second half of January.
- — Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation have been on the move since 8 a.m. Thursday morning preparing for a wintry weather mix in our area.
- A Winter Storm will cross through the Carolinas tomorrow bringing the chance for a little light wintry weather into the metro Richmond area with a better chance down to our south. If you live north of the Richmond area you are going to miss out on this event.
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- The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down in Tehama County, a small region in Northern California, Monday afternoon.
- An 8News photographer ventured around the City of Richmond today capturing photos and videos. A quiet and sunny afternoon made for some great pictures of Christmas decorations downtown.
- HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Severe weather conditions caused power outages, flooding and prompted tornado warnings throughout Hampton Roads Thursday night. It was also a rainy night across parts of Northeastern, North Carolina. VIRGINIA Damages & Aftermath 10 On Your Side's Meteorologist Steve Fundaro says that NWS confirmed a tornado touched down near Holland Road […]
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