Will We See The Northern Lights Over The Newtown Area?

The Northern Lights have been putting on a show and they could be seen locally.

The Northern Lights as seen from along Swamp Road in Newtown Township early Saturday morning. Credit: Submitted

After a damp and overcast Friday night, gradually clearing skies this weekend might reward sky-watchers with a view of the Northern Lights, according to forecasts.

The phenomenon, also known as the aurora, could be visible as far south as Alabama due to an “extreme” geomagnetic storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

A large portion of the country could see the stunning natural light show Friday. And as clouds cleared over Bucks County early Saturday, the Northern Lights could plainly be seen above the area.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch, which began on Friday and extends throughout the weekend.

The watch was the first of its kind in nearly two decades and was upgraded to an Extreme (G5) Geomagnetic Storm as the solar activity reached Earth.

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Forecasters were monitoring a large cluster of sunspots that have been active since Wednesday, producing several moderate to strong solar flares.

The solar flares result from Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and increase the likelihood of geomagnetic storms. They have kept forecasters on alert for potential disruptions, NOAA officials said.

While the Northern Lights might put on a show for viewers on Saturday night into early Sunday morning, area residents might have their views obscured by increasing cloud cover and possible rain showers. However, the National Weather Service said that breaks in the clouds could offer sporadic viewing opportunities.

For Sunday night, clouds are forecasted to clear.

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center said there is expected to be visibility of the Northern Lights through at least Sunday as the storm continues.

The solar flares could cause potential disruptions to communication satellites and power grids. The geomagnetic storm poses a risk to high-voltage transmission lines, which could affect power distribution, officials warned.

No major disruptions had been reported as of Saturday morning.

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