Soft Serve News and the Aurora Forecast page attempt to give a real-time answer to the question "can I see the Northern Lights or not?"
I wrote it (and the free Aurora Alerts Twitter and the free Aurora Alerts Facebook services) because of all those times I went from my warm confines in Chicago to some darkened field in Wisconsin only to find myself shivering before an empty sky.
We on the Auroral fringes can't help but be a bit jealous of our friends in Alaska, Canada, Norway, Siberia and elsewhere up north who have a little easier access to the Aurora.
Still, even for us sky-poor rubes in the south -- there is hope.
Years ago, on a bitterly cold night not 50 miles out of Chicago, I saw an amazing Aurora. It started out as a ghostly green crown floating over the northern horizon. But it soon grew to a massive colorful display directly over my head (and a good 40 degrees into the southern sky). For someone who has hunted the Aurora for so long and then to be paid off by such an enormous show, the next few hours were indescribable. At one point the sky turned as red as blood – it was such a bright red, it was even a bit unnerving.
I walked back towards my car frozen and elated. I stopped, got on my knees and thanked God for letting my eyes see such a sight.
Wherever you are, I hope you get a chance to see an awesome Aurora soon.
I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I'm an avid chaser of the Northern Lights.
My email is the first letter of my first name followed by my last name then this domain.
Many thanks to NOAA, NASA, the US Air Force and the US Navy for the public data used on this site, the US tax payer who foots the bill and, of course, the wealth-creating US Free Enterprise System -- without which none of these fine organizations would even vaguely be possible.