It's been a long, long time since geomagnetic activity has been strong enough to bring the northern lights to the US in a significant way. We're getting an opportunity to spot the aurora borealis from the US and in Washington.

Northern Lights in Norway
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Getty Images / As seen from Norway

The Aurora Borealis or “The Northern Lights”, are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere. It’s a sciency way of saying, “God’s Lightshow”, will be on full display in our neck O’ the woods.

Sun Produces Powerful Auroras
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The areas where they can be seen are northern Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and all of Alaska and Canada. The best time to watch for aurora is the three or four hours around midnight, but aurora occurs throughout the night.

Northern Lights Glow Over Alaskan Pipeline
Getty Images/Alaskan Pipeline View of the Northern Lights
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The Space Weather Prediction Center has announced “geomagnetic storm watches” for nights from September 27 through September 29. The important part is that the northern lights are likely to be seen further south than usual. So seeing it here in Washington is a treat.

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Getty Images / The Northern Lights as viewed in Europe
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People have paid good money to fly to Europe to experience this close up. So don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Keep your eyes on the sky. Just because it's not there one moment doesn't mean that it won't be soon. Likewise, if you see it, that doesn't mean it's going to be around all night. It's a bit like whale watching. Patience is rewarded with a rare, spectacular light show of epic proportions.

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So, grab a jacket, that camera and your patience and prepare to enjoy the incredible sight, if you're lucky enough to see it.

All My Best,

The JimShow

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Northern Lights in Norway
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Northern Lights in Norway
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