I am certainly going to be out there. A good aurora provides an almost religious experience.
There is a chance that there will be a celestial show on tap for tonight over Washington, if you can get to a location away from lights: an Aurora Borealis.
The reason? Their was a massive solar storm on December 28th, called a coronal massive ejection (CME) and the particles are reaching the earth today.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center provides forecasts of the Kp index, a measure of the geomagnetic disturbance of the Earth's magnetic field by solar fluctuations. Large Kp values are associated with enhanced auroral activity. The time used is universal time (UTC or UT). 4 PM PST today is 0000 UTC 31 October. We had a major geomagnetic event Wednesday (peaking between 7 AM and 10 AM) and it will be declining this afternoon. But it will still be fairly strong this evening. So there COULD be auroral activity tonight.
The Space Weather Prediction Center also has an aurora forecast graphic. Here is their prediction for early tomorrow) (Thursday morning (1 AM to 4 AM). I you look carefully you will see we are within the fuzzy green...not the highest probabilities, but a possibility.
What about the weather? We will have PERFECT viewing conditions with clear skies and fine visibility. The visibility satellite image at 1 PM says it all:
The key is to go some place that is dark...away from lights. The latest aurora diagnosis/short forecast for 2 PM our time shows a high probability of aurora over northern Europe. That band will rotate towards us tonight.
There are no guarantees, but it may be worth your while to take a look outside during the early evening. Auroras are magical apparitions to view.