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Aurora forecast: Take a look up at the sky this weekend, Iowa. You may see t...

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Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 11:14:39 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 11:14:39

Among the impacts of this storm is that an aurora borealis, often referred to as the northern lights, may be visible for across America. Aurora forecast


Among the impacts of this storm is that an aurora borealis, often referred to as the northern lights, may be visible for across America.

Here’s what to know so you don’t miss out on a striking display of lights in the sky.

Iowans can expect to see the northern lights this weekend, Dahl said.

The geomagnetic storm has the potential to be considered a G4 on NOAA’s Space Weather Scales, considered severe, beginning Friday evening and into Saturday, according to Dahl.

A G4, according to the scale of 1-5, means an aurora can be seen “as low as Alabama and northern California.”

Friday night will have a stronger possibility of seeing the aurora in Iowa, according to an updated forecast posted Friday morning by the Space Weather Prediction Center.

To see the northern lights, you’ll need clear skies.

Friday night could see rain in the early evening in central Iowa before turning mostly clear around 7 p.m. For eastern Iowa, rain could stick around through 10 p.m.

In Des Moines, Ames and Iowa City, Saturday night is expected to be “mostly clear,” according to the National Weather Service as of Friday morning.

To increase your chances of seeing the aurora, you should travel to areas where there is less light pollution, Dahl said.

Historically, the best time to see the lights is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

You may want to bring your phone with you when you step out to view the aurora. The camera on your device is sensitive and can pick up the lights better than your eye, USA TODAY reported.

A geomagnetic storm is “a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere,” according to the prediction center.

Earth’s magnetosphere protects our planet from solar and cosmic particle radiation and erosion of our atmosphere by solar wind, according to NASA.

The storm occurs due to a “very efficient exchange” of energy from solar wind — “the constant flow of charged particles streaming off the sun,” says NASA — into the space environment surrounding Earth, according to the prediction center.

A severe geomagnetic storm can cause problems for power systems, spacecraft operations and more.

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