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UPDATE: Forecasters downgrade geomagnetic storm, unlikely northern lights visible in PA

PITTSBURGH — UPDATE: The large geomagnetic storm predicted by NWSSWPC has been downgraded dramatically, and it’s unlikely any parts of the Pennsylvania will be able to see the northern lights.

A geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. A G3 storm is predicted on the 10th, and a G2 storm is predicted on the 11th, according to NOAA’s Space Weather.

A Kp value of 7 is associated with a G3 storm and this is the value needed for parts of Pennsylvania to be able to see the aurora borealis. Therefore, if the weather cooperates and there is a fairly clear sky, some folks in northern Pennsylvania may be able to see the aurora. It’s important that you get away from light pollution to be able to see the northern lights clearly.

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While it’s not impossible for people who live in Pittsburgh to see the aurora, it’s less likely as the Kp value may not be strong enough and there’s a lot of light pollution in the city.

The peak viewing time should be between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.

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