Minor auroras possible tonight March 27-28, 2013

A fine aurora on the morning of March 17 this year from Duluth, Minn. Photo: Bob King

The NOAA space weather forecast puts the chances of a minor storm of northern lights for middle latitudes at 20% tonight. As of 7:30 p.m. Central Time the Kp index, a useful indicator of potential auroral activity, bounced up to “4”, a level below minor storm.

If the index moves into the red – “5” or higher – that would be a hopeful sign.

I’m not saying we’re going to get auroras tonight just that the possibility exists. If they’re minor, not much may be visible anyway because the full moon comes up near the end of twilight. You may want to take a look all the same. Good luck!

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

5 thoughts on “Minor auroras possible tonight March 27-28, 2013

    • Hi Mike,
      I was in a great place for viewing them but did not see any. Too much moonlight. Also, it appears that while the Kp index remained at 4 for some time, it never jumped up to minor storm.

      • So, if the moon is full and bright we aren’t going to see much of anything and that we’re better off with cloud coverage. Is this correct?

        • Heidi,
          Well, not better off with clouds, but yes, the moon was very bright last night. Some people saw the aurora even in moonlight from places up in Canada and Finland – further north.

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