How the Auroras form

The Northern Lights exploded across the country Thursday night
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s not every day that the Aurora borealis, known as the northern lights, are as vibrant as they were Thursday night in SE Minnesota and NE Iowa. There were reports of the northern lights being visible as far south as Texas!

Chief Meteorologist Nick Jansen explains why the northern lights were so bright Thursday night.

Northern Lights Forecast:

KP Index forecast
KP Index forecast(KTTC)

The easiest way to look at a northern lights forecast is to look at a KP Index breakdown from the Space Weather Prediction Center. Generally speaking, we would want at least a KP 5 rating to see the NL on the horizon in SE MN and NE IA. Last night, the KP values reached around 6-8 which is extremely strong. That’s why the northern lights were so vibrant from about 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. Thursday night and Friday morning.

For more on the KP forecast for future northern lights viewing click here