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Aurora Chances for Oregon, Washington - Many Meteor Showers | Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Published 11/05/23 a 5:25 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Portland, Oregon) – There's a lot of possibilities in the skies Sunday and Monday above Washington, Oregon and its coastlines, including the Auroroa Borealis, lightning and a peak of one meteor shower. However, weather – of course – has other ideas. (Photo of fireball courtesy NASA)

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Even so, there are no less than four different meteor showers happening in November, with two peaking later in the month.

On top of it all, gnarly weather on the Oregon coast could result in some thunderstorm action later on Sunday and Monday. There is already sizable thunder activity on the south Oregon coast on Sunday night.

Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland's OMSI, said a burst of solar activity started awhile ago and should be continuing the next two days.

“Northern lights could be seen in Oregon and Washington tonight,” he said. “The kp index is above 7, which is visibility for Oregon. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not favorable for Aurora viewing locally.”

However, anyone in the upper states of the United States is in a good position to see the Aurora Borealis. In fact, some amazing pictures have already come out of this, including Colorado and the Arctic, where red aurora have been photographed. It's been viewable with the naked eye in many U.S. locales.

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This is a bummer, of course, for the Oregon coast and Washington coastline.

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Todd said to check these links:


“The timing and strength of the CME will be a factor,” he said.

The CME bursts (coronal mass ejections from the sun) are likely coming in a pair, according to and others.

“One and perhaps even a second CME passed Earth today resulting in a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm,” wrote SolarHam.

Earlier this year in Spokane, Wash., courtesy National Weather Service

The CME first hit the Earth about 1 a.m. Pacific Time, which has resulted in plenty of stunning photographs (see the Realtime Aurora Gallery. ) A second one is on its way, according to astronomers. The two overlapping could create even more Northern Lights activity.

Also frustrating for anyone on the Oregon coast, Washington coast or inland regions is that tonight and tomorrow night (Sunday and Monday) are the peaks of the Southern Taurids.

According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), the Southern Taurids don't produce a lot, only about five meteors an hour. But they do create more fireballs than most, and NASA has reported 9 fireballs sighted around the U.S. today (see the coverage).

Fireballs are larger meteors that create meteors brighter than Venus, which are much longer and much spectacular than regular meteors. See Spectacular Green Fireball Lights Up Oregon Valley Through Washington Coast

Do not give up hope for wowing space action along the coast, however. The Northern Taurids will peak on November 11 – 12, with the Southern Taurids still going on (even if they aren't at their peak).

Then, the Leonids peak on November 17 – 18, which is often rather faint. Some years, however, it's been known to fire off more than 100 meteors per hour.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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