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No, You're Not Going to See the Northern Lights in LA

What to Know

  • Social media posts have been circulating saying the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, will be visible in LA.
  • It’s not true — and in fact, it’s an April Fools’ Day prank.
  • Scroll down for the science behind the reason.

You may have seen the stunning photos all over social media about the northern lights this week in parts of North America. And Friday, some are taking the chance to pull a little prank on hopeful aurora borealis seekers in Los Angeles.

If you were excited to easily fulfill a bucket-list item — seeing the lights Friday night over the southland — sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s all but an April Fools’ Day joke.

The strength of the coronal mass ejection of solar wind (scale KP 0-9) will determine how far south the northern lights are predicted to be visible.

Don Hampton, Space Physicist and Rod Boyce Public Information officer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, says it would take a KP 9 storm to possibly have this type of event happen anywhere near Southern California.

Friday night’s forecast is at a KP 3 and any chances will be north of North Dakota in the Midwest, and nowhere on the west coast.  


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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