Aurora Alert Tonight Nov. 20-21

Back for Round 4! A coronal hole (inside circle) has been facing Earth this week and may spark a minor aurora display tonight. This photo taken on Nov. 18 by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA

My, what a busy week! Two meteor showers and northern lights, too?! Space weather experts forecast a minor geomagnetic storm (Kp=5) for tonight between about 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Central Time. And guess what? The instigator looks like the same coronal hole that’s been spraying Earth with subatomic particles since August.

A gap in the sun’s corona that allowed material to stream earthward at high speed in late August, sparking a fast-moving aurora and the STEVE feature on August 31. The hole came around again 4 weeks later for a late September aurora followed by a repeat performance in October. And now a fourth! I was able to see the celestial trifecta but alas, a coveted quadfecta is beyond reach. Snow is forecast for my region tonight.

But that doesn’t diminish my hope that YOU will see it. Keep watch this evening and chime in the Comments area with the good news. Because it’s a minor storm any aurora will likely be limited to the northern U.S. states and Canada along with the northern European latitudes.