Yes, Toronto: Even you may see the northern lights Tonight
TORONTO — In a city rife with lights that blot out the night sky, it’s rare to catch the northern lights. But tonight Torontonians may get their chance.
A major geomagnetic storm began around 11:30 a.m. and as of 4:30 p.m. it hadn’t subsided. This was the result of several Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CME) that left the sun several days earlier.
The Kp Index measures the intensity of geomagnetic storms. On a good day it might reach Kp four or five. But for it to reach eight is rare. In fact, this is the strongest storm in this solar cycle — which lasts approximately 11 years.
When the Kp is so high, the northern lights are much more intense. However, another factor needs to be in place for places at lower latitudes — like Toronto — to see them. That’s the auroral hole. It needs to be facing south. So far today, it’s been far south, which bodes very well for Toronto.