Heads up: Northern Lights encore expected in Michigan

Northern Lights
A courtesy photo of the Aurora Borealis as seen in Bete Grise, MI on Sept. 7, 2017. (Isaac Diener)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan residents will get another chance to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky Friday night.

Northern Lights
A courtesy photo of the Aurora Borealis as seen in Bete Grise, MI on Sept. 7, 2017. (Isaac Diener)

Some stargazers captured the Aurora Borealis over Northern Michigan Thursday night. However, clouds obscured much of the display for West Michigan.

The probability of seeing the Aurora Borealis is based on the Kp index, which measures global geomagnetic storms. As the Kp number rises, so does the likelihood of seeing the Aurora Borealis.

The Kp number must reach at least a 7 to see the colorful display in lower Michigan. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said as of Friday afternoon, the Kp index was at 8. Storm Team 8 also expects the skies over West Michigan to be clear.

However, Northern Lights lovers may run into other viewing issues. Friday night’s display is expected to peak around 8 p.m., before the sun sets. Because of the brighter sky, the colors may be less vibrant.

Diehard Northern Lights lovers might want to pack up the car and head north. The farther you travel, the better the chance you will see the Aurora Borealis as the night progresses.

–Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Ellen Bacca contributed to this report.