Geomagnetic storm watch and what it means for the Twin Tiers

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm watch from December 9th until December 11th. With this, a small chance to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the Twin Tiers.

According to NOAA, a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.

From NOAA

The best chance to see the Northern Lights in the Twin Tiers will be late tonight and very early tomorrow morning as the storm reaches its peak. Sadly, this will be weather permitting and it is looking like cloud cover may block any decent viewing experiences.

How far can the Northern Lights be seen?

The sun has released a large expulsion of plasma and magnetic field from its corona this week and this CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) is expected to arrive in Earth’s atmosphere from December 9 through the 11th. This will interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, producing the Northern Lights.

These dancing waves are collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere clashing with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere, producing the Northern Lights.

There is a very small chance to see the Northern Lights Thursday night, but mainly north of the border.

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