Northern lights put on quite a show, seen as far south as Texas Panhandle

Incredible pictures are coming in from around the world

There are many days I am thankful to be living closer to the equator. Yesterday was not one of them.

According to Washington Post, Sunday’s showing of the northern lights may have been one of the most widespread displays since 2003. The aurora borealis, created as energized particles from the sun slam into the Earth’s atmosphere (a magnetic field protects us from onslaught of energy), usually are only seen in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. That’s because the magnetic field redirects the energy to the poles. Sometimes, however, if a “geomagnetic storm” occurs, then the lights can be seen at mid-latitudes. Yesterday was one of those days.

NOAA put out the alert that a G4 magnetic storm was affecting Earth on Sunday, thanks to a coronal mass ejection. These kinds of storms can result in “widespread voltage control problems,” according to the National Weather Service. It can also affect low-Earth orbiting satellites. But most notably, it creates a brilliant multi-colored light display that dances across the sky. As it occurred Sunday night, reports of incredible shows of the northern lights began to pour in.

Canada’s displays were nothing short of stunning.

But, cities across the United States also saw the lights. Many of these places rarely get this kind of show.

There was even a report of a sighting in the extreme northern part of the Texas Panhandle, a place you’d almost never expect to see the northern lights. Incredibly, this is the second time this year that the northern lights were spotted there.

As for San Antonio, we’re likely never going to see the northern lights here. We’re just too far south. Plus, it was cloudy last night. But, seeing the pictures from around the world is pretty amazing!

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About the Author

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.

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