GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, a burst of geomagnetic activity created some dazzling scenes across the night sky in West Michigan.
After several consecutive cloudy days, the sky was clear and the aurora borealis was spotted by photographers as far south as Fennville.
In order for the Northern Lights to be visible in West Michigan, the geomagnetic activity needs to trigger a KP index of 6 or higher. A look at the KP index over the last several days shows the peak Monday night:
The KP Index for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning is not nearly as active. The expected level should stay between a KP Index of 2 and 3.
Areas highlighted in green on a KP index 2 night on the above map would be able to see the aurora directly overhead. Areas along the green line or north would be able to see the Northern Lights when looking to the northern sky.
Skies will start to cloud up again Thursday night, but Monday’s burst of color is a good reminder that the Northern Lights can come fast and leave just as quickly.