If you look up at the sky this week, you may catch a rare glimpse of the northern lights. The colorful views are making an appearance very soon, but only if you live in a certain part of the U.S. I've never seen the Aurora Borealis in person, but I'm sure the pictures don't do the natural light event justice, the images are already so pretty to look at it. Seriously, it's like candy for my eyes. If you live where the northern lights are going to be visible this week, do me a favor and go outside, will ya? Here's how to see the northern lights in the U.S. this week.
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, you may have the distinct privilege of feasting your eyes upon the northern lights in the U.S. (S/O to Thrillist for finding this amazing news.) Normally, the light show is reserved for Alaska, Canada, Iceland, other areas located in the extreme northern hemisphere. The northern lights don't often make an appearance in the U.S., but that's all changing this week, and the iridescent light show should be visible to residents who live in certain northern states in the United States.
On Feb. 26, the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a three-day forecast for Feb. 26, 27, and 28, and in that forecast, there's an alert for a G1 geomagnetic storm. Basically, a geomagnetic storm takes place when there is a "very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth," according to the center. The predictions indicate that the northern lights will be visible across parts of Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine, according to Thrillist.
Of course, the aurora borealis will only be visible *if* the weather cooperates. Cloudy skies may hinder your view, so keep those fingers crossed for a clear forecast. The best times to step outside and see the northern lights are definitely later in the evening. Per Thrillist, your best chance of seeing the light show with your own to eyes is between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 27. (Make sure to wait until the sun goes down.) The colorful lights are way more visible once the sun sets and near darkness is one of the best ways to see the aurora borealis.
If you're like me and you've never experienced the beauty that is the northern lights in person, you might be wondering what exactly to look for. The light show can appear in the night sky with flashes of blues, greens, pinks, reds, and purples, according to the National Park Service. The colors blend together against the dark night sky and, based on pictures, it looks unlike anything I've ever witnessed before.
Seeing the northern lights in person is high atop my bucket list. Iceland seems like the place to go to see the aurora borealis, as they are best seen in the region from late August to early April, according to National Geographic. Sadly, I won't be making it to Iceland before April of this year, and don't live in any of the states that may catch a glimpse of this exquisite light show on Wednesday, either. Bummer. If you do, make sure to step outside before you go to bed to catch a possible glimpse of the northern lights. Remember though: pics or it didn't happen.