Aurora borealis to be visible in the U.S. after strong geomagnetic storm

A solar storm of this magnitude could even cause GPS and satellite disruptions

Aurora borealis forecast for early Thursday morning, 3/31/2022

ROANOKE, Va. – For many, the Aurora borealis (northern lights) is on the bucket list.

While rain and storms move through our area late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, areas just north of here stand the chance to see the dancing green lights in the sky.

A strong geomagnetic (G3) storm will develop in response to a solar flare. The strength of the storm, and the height in the atmosphere at which this happens, determines what colors become visible.

You can see how the process works in detail below.

How the Aurora borealis forms

Our chances of seeing the Aurora are slim to none, but if you head a little farther north, it’s possible to see low on the horizon Thursday morning.

Aurora borealis forecast for early Thursday morning, 3/31/2022

A solar storm of this magnitude could even cause GPS and satellite disruptions.


About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.