The Northern Lights Observed in the Lower-48

A powerful geomagnetic storm transpired over the Lower-48 during the weekend of 11-13 May 2024. The sun produced coronal mass injections that impacted the Earth, creating auroras (a.k.a., northern lights) that were seen across the globe. Within CONUS, the auroras were visible as far south as Florida, Texas, and Alabama: locations where the northern lights are typically not observed. Spectacular photos of the event can be seen here.

Accessing the CIRA SLIDER – JPSS Northern Hemisphere Sector, one can observe the northern lights that dominated the northern tier of the U.S. from 6-12Z, 11 May 2024. The VIIRS Near-Constant Contrast (NCC), a derived product of the Day/Night Band (DNB) captures the extensive, emitted white streaks that are produced from the auroras. Clusters of emitted city lights can also be seen across CONUS.


National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) employed social media to highlight the nighttime visible imagery as a way to observe the northern lights. Click on the images below to view the social media posts and animations.


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