New Jersey Has Prime Seats for Tonight’s Aurora Borealis

Apr 13, 2013 The Northern lights will be on display tonight for the top half of the United States, thanks to a Thursday morning solar flare. A small sliver of the mid-Atlantic should get the best view. I’m not exactly sure how that all works, so here’s Accuweather’s Samantha-Rae Tuthill to explain: On the Kp index, the flare has been categorized at 6 to 8. This is a scale for measuring the intensity of a a geomagnetic storm. The 6 to 8 rating means that the effects of the radiation will have a greater reach. Oh. Hmm. Perhaps meteorologist Gary Szatkowsi can help: “We are seeing only moderate storm activity right now,” he said. “The rating for these storms is G1-G5, with G1 being the lowest.” Szatkowski said right now the storm is rating a G2, which is moderate. Okay, here’s a pretty simple map, also courtesy of Accuweather: If you’re in the visible zone and want to see them for yourself, 8 pm EDT is estimated to be the prime borealis time — though, as with most things Mother Nature, it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact time. Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire. Sara Morrison Topics: Aurora Borealis, Weather, Northern Lights