Northern Lights expected over Kamloops, Okanagan tonight | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Northern Lights expected over Kamloops, Okanagan tonight

A photo of the northern lights taken from the Observatory Bed and Breakfast in Osoyoos.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jack Newton

A northern lights show is in the forecast for tonight but it's unfortunate timing with the recent weather.

Aurora activity is predicted to be at a nine out of 10 this evening, according to

“Every time the sun has a bad hair day about four days later that material – especially if it’s ejected from near centre of the sun – will be redirected towards the earth’s magnetic poles, and as soon as that hits the upper atmosphere it ionizes and creates what we know as the Aurora Borealis,” said astronomer Jack Newton.

Unfortunately, local precipitation is expected to create cloud cover throughout Kamloops and the Okanagan while the lights are active tonight, July 6.

Even high-elevation communities like Big White and the top of Anarchist Mountain in Osoyoos will be cloudy tonight.

READ MORE: A photographer's how to guide to spot the Northern Lights in the Okanagan

Newton, who operates the Observatory Bed and Breakfast on Anarchist Mountain, said there’s not much that can be done to enjoy the aurora borealis when the skies are covered.

When skies are clear, people typically have to wait until after 11 p.m to be able to see the aurora, he said. The show will begin in the northwest of the sky and shift towards the northeast as the night progresses.

For Kamloops and the Okanagan, aurora activity can sometimes only appear as a mild glow, barely visible to the naked eye.

“If you ever want to make sure you’re actually seeing it, use your camera to take a short time exposure of the glow,” Newton said.

If northern lights are present, a long exposure photo will show a green sky, he said.

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