Monday, September 10, 2018

Geomagnetic storm could bring Northern Lights to Michigan as early as tonight

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:02 PM

click to enlarge Northern Lights over Benzie County Michigan wooded area. - VIA SHUTTERSTOCK
  • via Shutterstock
  • Northern Lights over Benzie County Michigan wooded area.

The collision of electrically charged molecules that send particles of plasma hurtling from the sun towards earth may sound terrifying, but hey, it sure looks pretty.

The U.S. government’s space weather bureau, the Space Weather Prediction Center, which really could have been named something much more exciting, has issued a “moderate” geomagnetic storm watch beginning on Monday, September 10 at 8:00 p.m.

The storm is expected to send a high-speed solar wind stream straight towards much of our fine state, but more importantly, there’s a chance it will fill Michigan’s night sky with the same elusive Northern Lights display.

“[National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] forecasters say there is an 80% chance of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms on Sept. 11th when a stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field,” according to “There's a chance that the storm could intensify to category G2 (moderately strong).”

The storm watch will last for 48 hours, until Wednesday night, and covers almost the entire state.

“The coronal hole stream is predicted to reach Earth by late on September 10th,” according to, which has provided real-time solar news since 2006. “Minor (G1) geomagnetic storming will be possible with a chance for an isolated period of Moderate (G2) storming.”

The lights appear in many different degrees and forms; it might be a hazy green wave hovering above, a burst of varying lights, glowing all at once, or even a dance of arches and rays fighting one another for space.

Keep your eyes on the sky! The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, may appear at any time over the next couple of days, but it is most likely to be visible when the sun goes down and the clouds clear out, so your best chance might be tomorrow night.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation