CHECK IT OUT: Aurora visible Sunday night around the Valley

A view of the Aurora
A view of the Aurora(Kristin Herring)
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 8:24 AM EDT
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SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. (WHSV) - A severe solar storm (G4) was forecast for Sunday night, and the northern lights were visible in our viewing area.

A view of the Aurora from Grottoes, Va
A view of the Aurora from Grottoes, Va(Jessica Newman)

To produce a strong aurora, you need a strong geomagnetic storm. When a G3 storm is forecast by NOAA, that may produce a very faint aurora along the horizon for parts of Virginia and West Virginia. At times, this may only be seen with a camera and possibly not even with the naked eye.

Ideally, to see the northern lights in our area you would want a G4 or a G5 solar storm, and these types of storms are very rare.

However, this is the second time in the last two months that the northern lights have been visible in the Valley. The other time was on the night of March 23rd.

You can find more information on geomagnetic storms here.