Aurora Activity VERY HIGH This Weekend in Iowa
...However, the weather may again hinder our chance to see the Northern Lights. (much like what happened on Labor Day weekend)
As of Tuesday, the forecast for this weekend, September 27-28, looks to be mostly cloudy with chances of rain. :(
The best places to view aurora are high northern latitudes during the winter, but sometimes we're lucky enough in Iowa to get a glimpse of the dancing lights of the aurora.
To see the Northern Lights you need clear and dark sky. During very large auroral events, the aurora may be seen throughout the U.S. and Europe, but these events are rare. During an extreme event in 1958, the aurora was visible from Mexico City.
The best time to watch for aurora is the three or four hours around midnight, but aurora occurs throughout the night.
The Kp number is a system of measuring aurora strength. The range goes from 0 to 9 (0 being calm, 1 very weak, all the way up to 9). Anything Kp 5 and above is classified as a geomagnetic storm. On September 28th, the Aurora Forecast from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks is a 6!
But if the clouds and rain get in the way (again) this weekend, fear not, the aurora is on a 27-day cycle, so we might have another chance to see the Northern Lights next month.
Here's a video of the Northern Lights seen in Finland last week...