PLEASANT LAKE, Ind. (WANE) – A minor to moderate geomagnetic storm is underway and, typically, this would not bring the highest chance of getting a good sky show from the northern lights, especially to the naked eye.
Yet, reports of the northern lights being spotted in northern Indiana came in Monday night, September 19, into early Tuesday morning.
Meteorologist Nathan Gidley explains in this story’s video clip what values on the forecasting scale we typically look for to get good viewing in our region. This current geomagnetic storm has been forecast to peak at G2 status. Typically, we want G3 for our area. There’s also an index called the Kp index and values 6-9 give us a good shot at a nice view in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. The Space Weather Prediction Center’s forecasts show us just reaching the 6 value (and not going above) between 5 and 8 am Tuesday morning.
While the forecasts hold us at just minimal thresholds, a report has come in from a WANE Weather Watcher near Angola of a “stunning display” in that direction.
Tia Justice, who took her photos from Pleasant Lake says, ” The Aurora has been flaring for a couple hours, but became most intense about 45 minutes ago (approx 11:45 pm Monday night). The entire horizon has had color and hints of pillars, but it’s best viewed through long exposure photography. It’s an incredible showing tonight for sure!” Tia’s pictures, shared below, were taken with her phone camera set on night mode.
With the naked eye, Tia explains the view like this, “…[Y]ou could see the horizon lit up almost turquoise with brighter hints of red. It would flare brighter and get softer. Almost looks like right before dawn as far as brightness, it glows like that. The red pillaring was brightest.”
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