Predicting when the Northern Lights will be visible is a tricky business. With that caveat, you need to know that the current forecast shows there's a better than average chance these brilliant sky colors will be visible over parts of Illinois Sunday night.

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UPDATE: The Northern Lights WERE visible over parts of Illinois. NBC Chicago shared some pictures you can see here.

ORIGINAL STORY: I am always wary of sharing the possibility of the Northern Lights being visible over Missouri or Illinois. So many things have to line up for it to happen. What's common over Minnesota and the northern states is relatively rare in our part of America. But, the government's Space Weather website shows Sunday night is one to watch. Here's their current forecast for tonight. The red line is where the cutoff is where the Northern Lights should be available on the horizon.

Space Weather.gov
Space Weather.gov
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The NOAA Space Weather forecasts call for a KP Index around 6 or possibly higher for half of Iowa and the northern parts of Illinois.

There's another reason why I have more confidence in this forecast than previous ones. Dan Bush of Missouri Skies shared pictures of red northern lights over Albany, Missouri Saturday night.

The Northern Lights Saturday and Sunday night are the result of recent large solar flares which were directed toward the Earth.

One other factor is the weather here on Earth. The current National Weather Service forecast for most of Illinois calls for partly cloudy skies. IF the skies are clear enough and IF the KP index remains high, there could be quite a visual sky treat over northern Illinois Sunday night.

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