October 11, 2021

Aurora Occurring Tonight!

A significant solar event is occurring and an aurora is visible to the north over northern Washington State right now.

Here is a recent image from Greg Johnson's Skunk Bay Weather website:

And the latest NOAA Space Weather Aurora forecast for 11:30 PM shows the core of it just north of us.

NOAA's Space Weather Center had put out a geomagnetic solar storm watch, which has clearly verified.  Over the weekend a coronal mass ejection (CME)...or solar flare... erupted on the sun's surface and raced towards the earth.  The interactions of this ejection from the sun and the Earth's magnetic field resulted in the aurora, which was visible over the northern U.S. and Canada.

A measure of the amplitude of the solar event is the Kp index, which has reached a fairly high level of 6:

Do you want a real treat?  Here is a video of the aurora action from Skunk Bay:

The skies are generally clear over Washington and southern BC, so we are in a good situation to view the celestial show. A good opportunity.


  1. Didn't see this post until 0300 Pacific. At that time, though the sky was clear and the stars plentiful as I looked north toward the Strait, I did not observe this. Cliff, will you mention aurora in class today?

  2. I wonder if that is why my SiriusXM radio has been a little intermittent lately?

  3. I checked Cliff’s blog before I went to bed, and also the Aurora forecast. I did notice kp was fairly high, but the maps made it look like we wouldn’t get anything so I called it an early night. With a 10 hour work day starting at 7 am I didn’t feel like driving somewhere to look just on the off chance . . . Guess next time I see kp > 5 I’ll give it a shot regardless of what the map says!

  4. What happened to this being 'Weather' instead of a 'misc' blog that it is? The last 'weather' is very early in the month and it's a lot different looking now.

    1. I did not appreciate your highly obscene message. It was rude and reflects bady on you. Sometimes I don't get to the moderation...I had to give a talk today. Please do not leave anymore comments and do me a favor and don't waste time on my blog if you don't like the subject matter.

  5. Snow in montana and eastern dakotas. I made the nasty mistake some years ago to take a trip back there this time of the year. I learned a nice lesson. Fly over that area in the off season only

  6. Missed it! Rats. Now it is too cloudy.

  7. Oh my stars! The video from Skunk Bay is just amazing! Thank you for posting it.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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