No, You Won’t See Northern Lights in Missouri & Illinois Thursday
There is hype growing that it's likely you'll be able to see a glorious display of the Northern Lights dazzling your eyeballs over Missouri and Illinois this Thursday night. Sorry to be a party pooper, but that doesn't appear likely to happen. At all.
Due to a recent solar storm, there was an expectation that the Northern Lights might be visible over as many as 17 states this Thursday night. Time Magazine and the NPR were among the major media outlets spreading this apparent good news.
However, if you go direct to the source of the forecast for the Aurora Borealis, you'll see NOAA's Space Weather Forecast is telling a completely different story.
This is the forecast for tonight (Wednesday) on the left and tomorrow (Thursday) on the right. Notice that not one single US state is now in the forecast region for seeing the lights...not even Minnesota.
I've seen forecasts that had a way higher probability than this week not materialize which has made me apprehensive about even mentioning when it looks possible or even likely. There are so many variables that have to do with timing and atmosphere stuff that it makes a rare event to see this far south really nearly impossible to predict ahead of time.
Have the Northern Lights been visible recently as far south as Missouri? Yes, they very much have.
In the case of the hype about this Thursday, my advice is to not believe one word about it unless you see bright lights suddenly dazzle your eyeballs on the horizon. I would love to be wrong, but pretty sure I'm not about this one.