Northern Lights Forecast Over PA Saturday Night: Latest Updates

PENNSYLVANIA — A geomagnetic storm is offering residents in many parts of the United States and Canada the exceedingly rare opportunity to see a piece of nature’s magic on Saturday night: the Northern Lights.

However, the forecast in many parts of Pennsylvania could obscure the aurora for much of the night. In southeastern Pennsylvania, rain will lead to mostly cloudy conditions. However, it’s not clear when the storm will break, and if clouds clear early enough, some of the phenomonom may still be visible.

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Here’s what the National Weather Service says for the greater Philadelphia area:

“A chance of showers, mainly before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming southwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.”

Out in the west of the state near Pittsburgh, things don’t look much different:

“Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 50. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.”

Getting out of densely populated areas will give you a better chance of seeing the aurora no matter what. Light pollution impacts the aurora’s visibility, and the best bet for viewing is to get somewhere with a clear view of the northern horizon. In Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park is an International Dark Sky Park with exceptional stargazing opportunities, but the forecast for that area is mostly cloudy Saturday evening as well.

NOAA explains the storm watch was issued as a response to a coronal mass ejection on Thursday, which the agency says “are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona.”

The storm could be visible in a wide band across North America and Europe, as far south as Pennsylvania. More clear sightings are likely north of the border in much of Canada.

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