August 4, 2021

ALERT! Aurora may be visible tonight, fog willing (or avoiding!)

The Sun is coming for us.

The folks over at www.spaceweather.com are expecting a G3 class magnetic storm to erupt around the Earth as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) ejected from the sun yesterday is headed our way.

This could produce aurora visible as far south as Oregon! So that means us too! Below is an image from Seattle 3 years ago that shows what aurora often look like in our part of the world.

You’ll have to get above the fog.

There is little doubt that the fog will roll in tonight. Aurora are usually best seen later into the night. After 9PM, or midnight.

Here is the cloud forecast from UWash for right now… reasonably clear.

Here is from 4-7PM… the fog rolls in…

And here it is tonight.

So you will need to get out of the fog! In Port Alberni, the “Helicopter Pad” at the top of the Hump is a good place for star gazing with a decent view to the north. If you’re on the West Coast, Radar Hill might be just high enough to be out of the fog. If you’re in Nanaimo, VIU is often above the fog too.

So if you’re inclined to go Aurora Chasing, is a good night. You never know! We don’t often get the chance around here.

Good luck!