Florida could get another glimpse of northern lights in June

If you weren't able to catch a glimpse of the northern Lights in Florida in May, there could be a second chance. 

The sunspot regions that caused the G5-level geomagnetic storms last month are back, but now they're emerging from the other side of the sun, FOX Weather reports. A Geomagnetic Storm Watch was issued through the weekend, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). 

The agency said auroras may become visible over some northern and upper Midwest states from New York to Idaho into June 1. 

The likehood of seeing the northern lights in Florida will depend on the intensity of the solar flare, said FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Brooks Garner. 

FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Brooks Garner took these photos of the northern lights over Seminole County, Florida, on May 10, 2024. (Photo: Brooks Garner)

"The most significant solar flares, known as X-class flares, release vast amounts of energy and can cause geomagnetic storms strong enough to push auroras to lower latitudes," Garner added. "If a powerful X-class flare occurs, the aurora borealis might be visible in Florida, especially in areas with low light pollution and clear skies. However, this is a rare event."

In short, it's rare – but not impossible. 

Active sun regions will be closer to the middle of the sun, directly facing the earth, for the next two weeks or so, according to FOX Weather. Earth could see geomagnetic storm impacts like the Northern Lights in May if a strong solar flare produces a coronal mass ejection. 

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NOAA northern lights forecast for Friday. (Photo: NOAA)

According to livescience.com, the sunspot is becoming visible again as the earth rotates will be facing Earth again on June 6. That means the planet will enter a "window of opportunity" to see the aurora borealis in the days before and after the New Moon, solar physicist Ryan French told the outlet. 

MERCER, MAINE - MAY 11, 2024 The aurora borealis fills the sky with pink and blue waves of color over a farmhouse in Mercer, Maine on May 11, 2024. The aurora borealis, commonly referred to as the northern lights, are electrically charged particles t

SWPC Service Coordinator Shawn Dahl told FOX Weather that while it's too early to tell if there will be another G5-level solar storm soon, space weather will be pretty active going into 2025. Regardless, it's still a rare occurrence and it's possible the U.S. is "still in store for some great chances here for seeing the northern lights further south than usual."

Garner said it's unclear at this time if the solar flares and subsequent geomagnetic storm will be strong enough to push auroras into Florida skies. 

Northern lights forecast for May 31, 2024

"Time will tell," he said. 

In May, Florida residents reported seeing the northern lights in Orlando and Tampa, and as far south as Miami. 

"While the likelihood of Florida seeing an aurora in June is statistically low, but it increases during periods of intense solar activity like now," Garner said. 

The SWPC will continue to share updates about the geomagnetic storm on its website

To see the next aurora borealis, weather officials recommend traveling as close to the poles as possible and avoiding city lights. The best viewing hours are between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.