Predicting when the Northern Lights will be visible is something that even NASA hasn't completely figured out, but there is a forecast regarding 3 incoming solar flares that could mean the Aurora Borealis will not only be visible in Illinois, but maybe even be overhead this weekend. Maybe.

My wife alerted me that Space Weather just upgraded a previous G2 solar storm forecast to a G3 because there's a mammoth sunspot that keeps hurling solar flares at the Earth. There are 3 CME's currently headed toward us and they're expected to impact this weekend, perhaps as early as Friday night.

Here's the latest official forecast from NOAA's experimental Space Weather Aurora Dashboard which currently says the Northern Lights MIGHT be visible on the horizon Friday night in northern Illinois.


NOTE: the current expectation is the best chances for seeing Northern Lights from or over Illinois are Friday and Saturday night, May 10 and May 11.

My confidence in the Northern Lights being visible over Illinois Friday and/or Saturday is bolstered by the fact that even MSN shared a story about how "auroras could light up skies".

If the Space Weather report is accurate, that map could very well be upgraded by NOAA to extend much further down into Illinois. If that happens, we might see something like Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard captured in Illinois back in April of 2023.

I must confess that I'm always hesitant to share Northern Lights forecasts for Missouri or Illinois. So many things have to go right for them to be visible and I hate getting everyone's hopes up and then nothing happens. But, the fact that there are 3 major solar flares incoming really does increase this chance a lot and I'd rather have you look and not see something than miss a sky event that's spectacular if it happens. That's how I'll end this with one big IF.

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Gallery Credit: The Coaster Spot via YouTube

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