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Aurora borealis may be great this weekend -- if you can find clear skies

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published April 1, 2016

An active aurora borealis through the weekend could light up the night sky as far south as Washington and New York states.

A geomagnetic storm heading toward Earth was expected to reach the atmosphere starting Friday evening. The storm will vary in intensity through Saturday night, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest space weather forecast.

The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is also forecasting an active aurora over the weekend, peaking Saturday night.

Viewing the aurora is dependent on dark, clear skies, so seek out an area away from light pollution and check your local weather forecast.

In Anchorage and the greater Southcentral region, the forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and scattered rain showers. But there will be breaks in the clouds, so aurora viewing is still possible, said Kimberly Hoeppner, meteorologist with the NWS Alaska region office.

On Friday morning, NOAA upgraded the storm advisory from minor to moderate and issued a minor storm watch for Sunday.

"Aurora may be visible as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state," the update said.