Blink and you'll miss it — the Northern Lights are set to make an appearance across Canadian skies tonight, thanks to a solar storm that erupted this past Monday.
A minor flare was released by the Sun which launched charged particles to earth in what is called a Coronal Mass Ejection. Space weather forecasters picked up the approaching particle wave via satellites and issued a G1 geomagnetic storm watch for Wednesday and Thursday.
Once the charged particles reach Earth, they will interact with atmospheric gases at the north and south poles, triggering Aurora Borealis events across the skies. The majority of them may be blocked by the Earth's magnetic field, but there should still be some Aurora Borealis activity at various latitudes.
#Solarstorm & #Aurora 5-day Outlook: Waiting for impact of #ValentinesDay storm followed by fast #solar wind. Lucky for romance under #aurora filled skies down to mid-latitudes! In each table, the top row shows what conditions are expected, bottom shows possible maximum activity.— Dr. Tamitha Skov (@TamithaSkov)
According to The Weather Network, residents living in the southern regions of BC and the Prairies (Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc.), as well as those living in the mid- to northern regions of Ontario and Quebec (Thunder Bay, Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, etc.) will be able to see the light display best. Check for locations above the green line on the following map:
Make sure to check out our list of the best places in Canada to see the Northern Lights to maximize your chances. You may have to take a short drive out of the city, but it'll be worth it if you do. Dress warmly and enjoy the show!