Northern Lights likely to streak across Canada as clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve…


The Aurora Borealis could hit parts of Canada just in time for the clock striking 12 on New Year’s Eve.

The U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has already observed G2 moderate geomagnetic storm levels on Dec. 31, and a G1 minor storm watch warning remains in effect for Jan. 1, 2016.

Minor storms could produce dazzling light displays and “vibrant auroras” across the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, according to the SWPC.

If the warning remains at G2 or is upgraded to a G3 strong warning, which is still a possibility, it is more likely that southern Canada – including, some areas of Toronto, if the skies are very clear and pollution is low – could see the Northern Lights just in time for 2016.

The SWPC is providing updates on the strength of the Aurora Borealis on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

Under current conditions, areas where they would be visible include northern Ontario, northern Quebec, northern Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The potential sighting of the aurora borealis has been caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) on Dec. 28. A CME happens when matter or particles emanating from the sun’s outer plasma field streams towards earth, unsettling the magnetic field.

Similar to the measurement of other natural phenomenon like hurricanes, geomagnetic storms are measured in categories. Friday’s event was expected to be a G1 minor storm, which occur approximately 155 times each year.

31/12/2015 13:01  By: TORONTO STAR