Did You Miss the Northern Lights? There’s a Chance You Can See Them Again Tonight.

A rare celestial event lit up the night skies over Northern California Friday night, offering residents a stunning view of the Northern Lights, a spectacle more commonly associated with the Arctic. Triggered by heightened solar activity, this extraordinary display became visible far south of its usual geographic range, being photographed as far as Yosemite National Park in California.

According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, appeared due to extreme geomagnetic conditions caused by solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the sun. These conditions, reaching a G5 level—the highest on the geomagnetic storm scale—were observed again on Saturday morning, suggesting that the aurora could be visible again over the weekend.

The visibility of these lights over Northern California marks a rare occurrence, as the region usually lies far outside the typical viewing areas for such polar phenomena. In fact, it was the best showing of the aurora in 19 years.

Residents who missed the initial display might still have the chance to witness the phenomenon, as the NOAA predicts that storming of varying intensity will persist through at least Sunday. The visibility of the aurora will depend largely on location, as you should be far away from city lights and expect to see them after 10 pm. The light show should get better the later in the night you stay up.

For those hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, tonight may be your best chance! Happy aurora hunting!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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