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Northern Lights May Be Visible From N.J. Tuesday Night

The possible aurora field Tuesday night. (Credit: Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks)

The possible aurora field Tuesday night. (Credit: Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks)

Meteorologists on Tuesday left the door open to the possibility that the aurora borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, might be visible from New Jersey Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

A geomagnetic storm in the top level of the atmosphere is responsible for making GPS satellites less reliable this week, but has already led to a plus side. The northern lights were seen early Tuesday morning in the Dakotas and as far south as Illinois. If the skies remain clear, there is a chance that the light show will be visible in New Jersey – even areas as far south as Tennessee and Oklahoma – tonight, the Associated Press reported. Moreover, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks included New Jersey is in its daily aurora probabilities map for Tuesday night.

Meteorologist Dan Skeldon wrote in a Press of Atlantic City article Tuesday that several factors must come together to make the lights visible, including clear skies, a lack of ambient “city” light and a dark view of the north sky. In the right conditions, there is a chance.

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“Not a great chance necessarily, but a better than average one,” Skeldon wrote.

The bad news for local residents: the lights, if they appear, will be more visible the farther north one travels. So there is some question as to how far in New Jersey the aurora will be visible, if it is visible in New Jersey at all.

The good news: The National Weather Service is predicted a clear night with a low of 28 degrees. Clear skies will continue through Wednesday morning.

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