Northern Lights May Be Visible Near Casper This Week – Maybe
Thanks to a major coronal mass ejection from the sun, it's possible the northern lights could be visible as far south as Casper later this week.
The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a solar storm watch. Here's their exact wording:
WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G3 Predicted
The height of the solar storm is expected to impact Thursday, December 10 although we could start to see the effects starting Wednesday night.
According to the SWPC website, a G3 level solar storm can cause a number of things including voltage irregularities in power systems and false alarms on some protection devices. It can also cause problems for spacecraft orbiting earth and difficulties with GPS here on the surface.
This type of storm is also capable of causing an aurora to be visible in our part of Wyoming or close. The specific line for this advisory extends from Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon. If you draw a line between those three states, you'll see it crosses very near to Casper if a little to our north. KPAX shared a map showing the viewable area and you can see it's very near us.
The one reason I add a big maybe to northern lights being visible over Casper is our weather. The official forecast right now is calling for increasing clouds Wednesday with some snow showers even being possible Thursday night.
Like I said, this is a big maybe. But, it's a very strong solar storm that is not seen very often. It's worth keeping an eye to the sky just in case. It has happened before.