Will You See the Aurora Tonight?

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I have gotten several emails about this, so let me provide some brief guidance.  The short answer:  probably not because of clouds.

There was a major solar event yesterday and with clear skies several of you saw a nice display last night.  In fact, Greg Johnson has captured last night's event on his web cam video (click on image to see video)


The event peaked last night and based on the Kp index, seems to be declining (see graphic). 

According to the guidance from the NOAA Space Weather Center, another solar event should cause a new peak in the Kp index sometime tonight (sometime after 10 PM):  Here is their latest forecast (in GMT--subtract 8 hrs for PST):

As shown from the graphic below, it needs to reach the 5-7 level for us to see much--something they are predicting for tonight.

But there is a problem for us...skies around here are no longer clear...we are getting considerable high clouds coming around the offshore ridge.  Here is the latest infrared satellite picture:

You see the problem.

The weather prediction models also forecast clouds and here are the simulations of what a satellite image would look like at 1 AM and  4 AM.  Yes, there are thin, high clouds in the forecast.  Better if you go south and east...but going south gets you away from the aurora.

Maybe we will luck out...there will be a thin spot in the clouds.  Viewing a good aurora is an amazing experience.
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