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Northern Lights could be visible in Wyoming with strong geomagnetic storm watch in effect


CASPER, Wyo. — With strong geomagnetic storms expected on Thursday and Friday, the Northern Lights could possibly be visible in northern Wyoming.

A strong G3 geomagnetic storm watch is in effect Thursday due to the arrival of coronal mass ejections that departed from the Sun on Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

On Friday, Aug. 19, a moderate G2 storm watch is in effect, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

“A G3 storm has the potential to drive the aurora further away from its normal polar residence, and if other factors come together, the aurora might be seen over portions of Pennsylvania, Iowa, to northern Oregon,” the forecast said.

G3 storms can potentially lead to the Northern Lights being visible in Wyoming. The hourly forecast suggests that the strongest storms could occur between 3 and 6 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday. Those could be G3 or KP Index 7 storms. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, G2 or KP Index 6 storms are possible, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center forecasts.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center provides the following map indicating where the Northern Lights may be visible in North America at different levels of geomagnetic storms:

Further forecast information is available in the following graphic from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center: