May 10, 2024

Major Solar Storm Tonight!

 I will be talking about this more in my podcast later today, but there is a very, very good chance of seeing an aurora tonight here in the Northwest.

A strong solar storm has occurred and the critical measure, the Kp index, has risen to 8, the highest I have seen in a very long time.

The predicted aurora distribution is shown below.  Red indicates an excellent chance of viewing an aurora.  Green is good.

Folks, this is about as good as it gets.

Sky conditions are now clear over the region and should remain so (see the latest visible image below).

And comfortable temperatures. Find a dark location looking north.

More in my podcast later today.


  1. I hope it's as amazing here as it's been in other parts of the world today. Thanks for posting, and for your podcast.

  2. Amazing Aurora on Bainbridge and looking straight up and then down to the water

  3. We had a nice view last night from Vancouver (WA) starting about 11pm. My cell phone camera did a much better job of getting all the detail than my eyes.

  4. From NE of Ellensburg, I looked at 10 PM. Saw a few stars, an airplane and a crescent moon. Otherwise, the sky was perfectly clear. A sister back in NE Ohio, and her neighbors, had a nice display except for too much light from the urban setting.

  5. After going 0 for 10 on past attempts to view auroras, our Northern Idaho skies were clear. Epic 360 degrees display that exceeded wildest expectations! Everything I find online says these events have no impact on weather. Do you agree Cliff?

  6. Absolutely amazing! It would have been helpful to know to look up, not just North and that you need to take a picture to see the colours. We spent 45min sitting in the dark by the sound, looking north thinking we'd seen nothing. In reality we had probably been looking at it the whole time! Is it always true that you have to look through a lens to see the colours or was it just electromagnetic spectrum of this aurora? Can we upload pictures?

  7. Cliff, did you catch the aurora last night and, if so, how do you think it compared to past instances during which it was visible in the PNW? NWS Seattle posted to it's X account that the display was more impressive than that during October 2003.

  8. Hi Cliff, could you help explain some specifics around the full-sky aurora Friday night? I was expecting activity only to the North but was surprised to see a magnificent show in all directions. There was something resembling a "source" overhead toward the Southwest, with rays of light emanating out radially. It was also surprising to first see the aurora directly overhead as a streak from West to East (10-10:45pm), and only later in the night did activity pick up along the northern horizon (11pm and later). Any ideas on these phenomena?


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