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Ghostly northern lights possible for southern Wisconsin this Halloween weekend

City shuts off street lights so residents can view Northern Lights
Posted at 4:24 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 17:24:45-05

MILWAUKEE — If you live in southern Wisconsin, there is a chance you might witness a ghostly green glow of an aurora on Saturday!

The US National Weather Service said a strong geomagnetic storm is expected to bring aurora activity as far south as central Illinois Saturday evening and night.

The strongest activity will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with more moderate activity from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., according to officials.

The US National Weather Service said the best viewing time for the aurora across the southern part of Wisconsin will be right after dark around 7 p.m. However, it may be visible as early as 5 p.m. Saturday and as late as 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Clouds may impact how much parts of far southeast Wisconsin can see around 7 p.m. Officials say there is uncertainty as to when clouds will move out.

According to the US National Weather Service, geomagnetic storms are caused by increased activity on the sun’s surface, such as solar flares.

“Our sun emits charged particles and plasma during this increased activity and when this cloud of particles hits our atmosphere it creates a geomagnetic storm,” the US National Weather Service said.

City lights from Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago can impact how much of the aurora you will be able to see. Officials say it is best to be in an area of complete darkness to witness this Halloween light show!

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