Northern Lights anticipated over Metro Vancouver skies Tuesday morning

Dec 19 2017, 3:48 pm

There’s a good chance that Metro Vancouver’s skywatchers could experience an impressive light show over the region’s skies during the early morning hours of Tuesday morning.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G4-Strong Geomagnetic Storm Watch, which means the Northern Lights could be visible not only within the southernmost areas of Canada but as far south as Missouri.

According to the agency, a coronal mass ejection (CME) that was emitted from the surface of the sun on Sunday will merge with two other smaller CMEs that left the sun last Thursday and Friday. The solar particles will arrive over the next few hours and interact with Earth’s atmospheric conditions to create a stunning display of lights.

If the event materializes, the Northern Lights should appear over the Metro Vancouver region between 11 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday. The weather forecast indicates the skies will be relatively clear with only be a few clouds overnight.

For optimal viewing locations without leaving the region, consider watching it in dark areas away from urban light pollution. Locations include the westernmost edge of Spanish Banks in Vancouver, Grant Narrow Regional Park in Pitt Meadows, the northern face of Burnaby Mountain, Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond, and vast areas of farmland in Delta and Tsawwassen.

Please note that predictions are based on NOAA data and models. If you spot the Northern Lights, please share it on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #VancityBuzz.