Rochester could get a view of northern lights Monday night, Tuesday morning

Sep. 18—ROCHESTER — Minnesotans have a good chance of catching a glimpse of the northern lights late Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 into early Tuesday morning.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center and the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a moderate geomagnetic storm is predicted to reach Minnesota.

Viewing depends on the timing and strength of the storm, but early predictions give viewers as far south as Rochester favorable odds to see the phenomenon.

"It's hard to say exactly whether Rochester is going to be the best viewing area," Elizabeth Sorenson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in La Crosse. "There are several factors that could still affect viewing."

The Space Weather Prediction Center forecast chances of visibility to begin at around 10 p.m. Monday with peak activity at about 4 a.m. Tuesday.

One of the factors that might affect whether the auroral displays will be visible is the variable cloud cover forecast overnight.

"That could impact visibility as well," Sorenson said.

The National Weather Service suggests finding a place away from city lights and looking north, low to the horizon to best view the northern lights.

Southeast Minnesota was treated to an

impressive display of the northern lights in March

this year.