Oct 01, 2023

Northern Lights: Illinois May See The Aurora Borealis This Week

Having been lucky enough to have seen the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) once before in my life (a trip to Norway with my dad), I can tell you that all the hype surrounding them is absolutely true. It was truly one of life's great experiences.

Well, according to members of the meteorological community who are literally swooning over this opportunity, those of us in northern states are getting a pretty good chance to see the Northern Lights this week without having to pony up airfare to Canada or Scandinavia.

If everything works out the way we'd like it to, all you'll have to do is go outside and look up at the skies.

And, once again, we have a geomagnetic storm impacting the atmosphere mid-week to thank for making it possible for certain spots that never get a look at the Northern Lights to see what all the buzz is about.

Recent forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute suggest a surge in auroral activity on the night of July 13, with the possibility of this captivating light show becoming visible in several parts of Canada and the United States.

The predictions indicate that the northern lights could illuminate the night skies in the northern regions of 17 U.S. states, provided the weather conditions remain favorable.

If the idea of getting up in the middle of the night holds little to no appeal for you, don't worry, you can start your Northern Lights watch party a little earlier, according to

The peak of that spectacle could arrive on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Forecasters say that “aurora activity will be high,” and that displays could be visible overhead from Minneapolis to Milwaukee in the Midwest, and low on the horizon between Lincoln and Indianapolis.

Those seeking to see the Northern Lights are best served finding an area far away from city lights between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., according to the NOAA’s solar weather forecasting service. Residents should also allow up to half-an-hour for their eyes to adjust to the darkness to get the best possible view.