LOOK UP: Northern lights could put on a show in Kamloops and the Okanagan this week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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LOOK UP: Northern lights could put on a show in Kamloops and the Okanagan this week

FILE PHOTO–This photo of the auroras was taken just north of Kamloops on April 15, 2015. A display of northern lights is expected to be visible throughout the region over the next few nights with a forecast for strong geomagnetic activity.
Image Credit: Chad Graham
December 10, 2020 - 7:00 AM

The next few nights could provide the best opportunity this year to view the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, in Kamloops and the Okanagan.

The Space Weather Prediction Centre is forecasting a geomagnetic storm for Dec. 9 to 11, calling for potentially strong storm levels tonight, Dec. 10 which happens to be when skies are expected to clear.

The centre says the increased geomagnetic activity over the next few days is the result of a solar flare that was observed on Dec. 7. While the prediction centre is “fairly confident the solar flare or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will arrive at Earth, the timing and geomagnetic storm intensity are less certain.”

The Thrillist Backyard Observatory website says the next few nights’ of northern lights should be visible as far south as the northern continental U.S., in what it says could be the biggest magnetic storms of the year.

Auroras can be difficult to predict with precision, as they have stops and starts known as sub-storms. To observe them, a bit of patience and luck is helpful.

The University of Alberta has an aurora watch alert page observers can subscribe to. The page will issue an alert depending on the probability of an aurora on a given night.

Local night viewing should be ideal, especially after tonight.

Environment Canada says nighttime skies should clear up over the next few days.

Cloudy skies are expected overnight tonight for Kamloops and the Okanagan, with cloudy periods in Kamloops and clear skies in the Okanagan overnight Thursday.

Clear skies are expected to continue through Friday night in both Kamloops and the Okanagan.


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