Keep watch for northern lights across Alberta tonight

Jul 22 2022, 10:16 pm

Look up! Alberta may be getting one heck of a light show starting tonight, with a chance that most of the province could see the northern lights.

That’s if the weather cooperates for good viewing, of course.

According to Aurora Forecast, there’s currently a 90% chance of Aurora Borealis activity on July 22, with an elevated chance running through until Saturday, July 23.

Aurora Forecast

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a handy tool that can tell you the likelihood of seeing the northern lights from wherever you are.

northern lights Alberta

University of Alaska Fairbanks

The green ring indicates the path of the northern lights, and currently, the chances of a display across much of Canada are good, according to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ webpage.

A Kp index of 6 has been issued for early Saturday UTC. Anything Kp 5 and above is classified as a geomagnetic storm.

The Kp number is a system for measuring aurora strength.

northern lights Alberta

University of Alaska Fairbanks

“Auroral activity will be high(+). Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Vancouver, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Bay City, Toronto, Montpelier, and Charlottetown, and visible low on the horizon from Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis and Annapolis,” the university stated.

The university says from 03:00 to 06:00 UTC Saturday the geomagnetic activity will peak, which works out from 9 pm until midnight MDT on Friday.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center, they are predicting a moderate geomagnetic storm Friday night.

So, will the weather cooperate?

It’s looking decent in Edmonton, with partly cloudy being forecast for Friday evening by Environment Canada.

Environment Canada

Calgary’s chances don’t seem as strong, with thunderstorms and a 60% chance of showers Friday evening.

Environment Canada

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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