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Northern lights may be visible in northern Utah May 10

This is SWPC's first G4 geomagnetic storm watch since 2005

UPDATE: Northern lights dazzle over Park City

PARK CITY, Utah — The northern lights could be visible in northern Utah tonight, Friday, May 10, thanks to a solar storm.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch for tonight due to a large sunspot cluster has been causing moderate to strong solar flares since the morning of May 8.

SWPC forecasters are currently monitoring NOAA and NASA’s space assets for any updates on the potential onset of a G4 geomagnetic storm, the first watch of this kind since 2005.

A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance to the Earth’s magnetic field that can cause disruptions to everyday life, including interruptions to communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio and satellite operations.

Geomagnetic storms can also lead to spectacular auroras on Earth, including the one forecasted for tonight, which may be visible from northern Utah.

Aurora Forecast for May 10, 2024.
Aurora Forecast for May 10, 2024. Photo: NOAA

Locations along the “view line” may be able to see a faint color from the aurora along the northern horizon.

According to the SWPC website, auroras can often be observed just after sunset or just before sunrise. They are not visible during daylight hours.

“The aurora does not need to be directly overhead but can be observed from as much as a 1000 km away when the aurora is bright and if conditions are right,” said the SWPC website.

The aurora will still be visible across much of the northern U.S. tomorrow, including Washington, Idaho and Montana.

For the most up-to-date information on the location and intensity of the aurora, visit the SWPC’s 30-minute forecast page.

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