Odd Above Oregon, Coast, Portland: Green Aura Still Possible
(Oregon Coast) – Perhaps it's luck of the Irish. In the wee hours of Tuesday, several reports came in of a spectacular green (and red) aurora borealis over Oregon, just in time for St. Patty's Day. See the photo taken just outside Portland here. Chances are decent this will occur again tonight, according to OMSI's Jim Todd, but it all depends on the magnetic storm that's been hitting the Earth lately. (Above: northern lights just outside of Portland, taken a few years ago).
It seems the Oregon coast will be a bit luckier than Portland, however, as skies are predicted to be clear above the beaches, but not so much inland Oregon.
Todd called it a “slight chance.”
“It will depend on the timing of the arrival and strength of storm front impacting the earth,” Todd said. “The KP index forecast are generally made three hours in advance. Oregon is located in the middle latitude for space weather forecasts. The good news, the moon is near new phase (March 20) which allows for darker night sky to view the faint auroras. Bad news, the current local weather forecast for this evening is not looking promising for the viewing.”
All this came from what was termed a “severe magnetic storm” by scientists, fired off from the sun a few days ago. It escalated into the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle (Kp=8).
Todd said your best chances are to move away from city lights and look towards the northern horizon for the northern lights.
“May appear as faint glow of curtain of light with colors of green or red,” Todd said. “Good luck and stay warm.”
Chances for this being seen could stick around for a bit longer. Or this could be curtains for these curtains of light. It's hard to say. Todd said there is no way of predicting how long the magnetic storms will keep hitting the Earth or the Pacific Northwest.
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