Slight Chance of Aurora Borealis Tonight in Oregon, Portland, the Coast
(Oregon Coast) – It will be perfect conditions to see it – but it's the worst possible temperature situation for viewing. (Above: Northern Lights in the Oregon coast range).
There is a decent chance the Portland area – and perhaps even the Oregon coast – may get to see the Northern Lights late tonight (Sunday night). Jim Todd, planetarium manager with Portland's OMSI there will be a KP index at 6 around midnight, where pristine sky conditions will be ideal for spotting these if they occur.
“May appear as faint glow of curtain of light with colors of green or red,” Todd said. “Best to move away from the city lights and look towards the northern horizon for the northern lights.”
SpaceWeather.com is reporting a solar wind stream hit the Earth's magnetic field yesterday, creating the aurora borealis in several states around the U.S, including Minnesota. NOAA is forecasting a 35 percent chance of more appearances tonight and tomorrow, although Todd is hinting chances won't be as good here in Oregon.
This solar wind storm was a G2-class geomagnetic storm, causing quite the spectacular show from Canada southward.
SpaceWeather.com is predicting some of the best chances will be from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in this area. Still, it will likely be very faint in northwest Oregon, and it is best to set up a camera on a tripod, shooting at about ten seconds with ASA's as high as you can go, up around 3200. This means you'll need a professional set up.
The other problem for viewing in the outer Portland area or the Oregon coast is the temperature. Temps will remain just below 20 degrees in Portland overnight and on the Oregon coast they will be wallowing at a mere 25 degrees.
Todd urged those attempting to see it to look northward and make sure you keep warm.
Check the NOAA Ovation http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/ around midnight to see your chances of spotting it in Oregon.
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