Watch for Northern Lights Following Strong Solar Flares
By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
Jul 4, 2012; 5:35 PM ET
Strong solar flares have been occurring, bringing the potential for a northern lights show to the northern tier of the U.S.
There have been at least three solar flares so far today. They have been classified around the middle M-class. The strongest one so far, classified as an M5.3, is considered to be a strong, significant solar flare. The highest classifications are called X-class solar flares.
AccuWeather.com Astronomy blogger Mark Paquette compared the strength of a solar flare to the Richter scale. Number classifications for a solar flare increase exponentially in strength.
If a CME is directed at the Earth, avid skywatchers who live across the northern tier of the nation, from Washington state to the northern Plains, Upper Midwest and northern New England, may get a beautiful show from nature either Thursday night or Friday night.
Read more at ACCU Weather.