Updated 01:57 PM EDT, Wed, Sep 22, 2021

Northern Lights 2015 Forecast: U.S. Witnesses Sky Show, Thanks to Solar Storm

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Keep your eyes on the sky if you live anywhere along or above the Central U.S. because a solar storm is bombarding the earth with Northern Lights. Green swirls and extraordinary colors have all been sighted in Alaska, Washington, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

But as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center says, the storm may last for 24-36 hours so you can try to see a new set of lights tonight if you live in the Ohio Valley or Central Plains. If you live in Michigan, researchers say that you're in the best spot to see the U.S. Northern Lights.

Spotty GPS, satellite service problems and power outages

The solar winds passing through the earth's ionosphere is largely responsible for the lights seen. This may cause interruption with satellite services like Google Maps, according to the NOAA.

That is because the ionosphere is largely responsible for transporting satellite data to computers and devices. The solar storm can certainly disrupt such transfer, considering its strength and magnitude.

The NOAA has said that since this is the biggest and strongest solar storm since 2013, location services all over the United States may become unreliable.

Some experts say that power outages are not far off. The NOAA rates this solar storm as a G4, a rating normally responsible for power fluctuations. As of today, there have been no reports of outages but scientists say that things may change at any time, notes USA Today.

Should you turn off your phone?

While scientists aren't able to give a definite answer to this question, they say that taking precautions won't hurt anyone. Solar storms may theoretically brick phones but as scientists aren't privy to what manufacturers put in their devices, gadgets may be largely unaffected.

That said, if you think that your devices are experiencing power errors, it's best to turn them off for the meantime until the solar storm passes.

Luck of the Irish

Twitter users and social media is abuzz at how the lights have come just in time for St. Patrick's day, reports USA Today. According to popular folk myth, seeing the Northern Lights on St. Patrick's Day may bring you good luck.

But what you may not realize is that solar storms are happening everyday since our temperamental but modest yellow Sun is quite active. The earth's magnetic field is usually enough to repel the winds produced by these storms, but a G4 solar storm just blasted right through it giving the United States a sky show of Northern Lights for 2015.

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