Maps show where millions in U.S. could see northern lights this weekend

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Minnesotans whitethorn beryllium treated to spectacular bluish lights Friday nighttime

Minnesotans whitethorn beryllium treated to spectacular bluish lights Friday night 03:53

Americans arsenic acold southbound arsenic Alabama and Northern California could beryllium treated to a amusement of the northern lights this play from a powerful geomagnetic storm heading toward Earth, officials said. If the upwind conditions are right, radical successful respective areas connected a representation could look up and spot the aurora borealis.

The tempest has prompted authorities forecasters to pass of imaginable disruptions to communications systems, the powerfulness grid and outer operations, but it could besides enactment connected a fantastic airy show successful the nighttime sky.

"The acquisition from abstraction upwind is the aurora," Rob Steenburgh, a abstraction idiosyncratic with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, told reporters Friday morning.

Northern lights contiguous map

A map from the center shows the aurora whitethorn beryllium disposable for overmuch of the bluish fractional of the U.S. A reddish enactment connected the representation shows however acold southbound the aurora forecast goes.

A representation  from the Space Weather Prediction Center shows the aurora forecast for the U.S. connected  May 10, 2024. A representation from the Space Weather Prediction Center shows the aurora forecast for the U.S. connected May 10, 2024. Space Weather Prediction Center

The National Weather Service's St. Louis bureau said radical successful the country should permission the metropolis for the champion imaginable accidental to presumption the bluish lights.

"Get distant from metropolis lights into a dark, agrarian surrounding and look north," the bureau said connected societal media. "Aside from immoderate clouds associated with a passing front, overmuch of the clip looks mostly clear."

The prediction halfway notes connected its website that radical don't request to beryllium straight underneath the aurora to spot it. Instead, it tin beryllium observed from arsenic overmuch arsenic 620 miles away.

auraora-nationview.png CBS News

The upwind service's bureau for the San Francisco Bay Area was little optimistic erstwhile asked if determination was a accidental for a nighttime amusement there.

"Probably not, but I'll inactive look up portion walking my dog," the bureau said.

Northern lights representation for Saturday night

Friday nighttime isn't the lone accidental for a bluish lights show. The tempest was expected to past done the weekend, and the prediction halfway released a forecast representation for Saturday night.

A representation  from the Space Weather Prediction Center shows the aurora forecast for the U.S. connected  May 11, 2024. A representation from the Space Weather Prediction Center shows the aurora forecast for the U.S. connected May 11, 2024. Space Weather Prediction Center

Officials said radical successful the Southern U.S. who can't spot the aurora with their bare eyes could inactive instrumentality immoderate dazzling pictures with their phones.

"Cellphones are overmuch amended than our eyes astatine capturing light," the Space Weather Prediction Center's Brent Gordon told reporters Friday. "Just spell retired your backmost doorway with a newer cellphone, and you'd beryllium amazed astatine what you spot successful that representation than what you spot with your eyes."

The bluish   lights animate the nighttime  entity  connected  Sept. 8, 2022, successful  Bettles, Alaska. The bluish lights animate the nighttime entity connected Sept. 8, 2022, successful Bettles, Alaska. Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Alex Sundby

Alex Sundby is simply a elder exertion astatine CBSNews.com. In summation to editing content, Alex besides covers breaking news, penning astir transgression and terrible upwind arsenic good arsenic everything from multistate lottery jackpots to the July Fourth blistery canine eating contest.

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