DENVER (KDVR) — Could the northern lights be visible in Colorado this week? It is possible. The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm watch for a G3 level storm intensity Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Geomagnetic Storm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere.

Meteorologist Chris Tomer said a G3 level storm is categorized as strong.

This generates a KP Index of 7. A KP index is used to characterize the magnitude of a geomagnetic storm.  

Tomer said that generally, this brings the aurora borealis viewing line south to about 50 degrees latitude. Sometimes locations a little further south of 50 degrees might catch some low horizon viewing.

Will we be able to see the aurora borealis in Colorado?

Seeing the aurora borealis in Colorado is not a lock. If it happens, the best viewing will be in northeast Colorado, Tomer said.

Here is a look at the timing for viewing in Colorado:

  • 11 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday

Forecast for skies Wednesday night into Thursday morning:

  • Denver: Clear Skies
  • Greeley: Clear Skies
  • Sterling: Clear Skies
  • Fort Collins: Clear Skies
  • Fort Morgan: Clear Skies
  • Stoneham: Clear Skies
  • Holyoke: Clear Skies
  • Limon: Clear Skies

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