Welcome Destination Duluth and Hawk Ridge Birding Festival folks. Please stay tuned over the next two days as I post updates to this site on our planned Northern Lights expeditions. I will be monitoring the weather and the technical numbers that indicate whether the lights are likely to dance!
Updates will be posted to this web site including “go/no go decisions”! Participants should have received an email from me with meetup locations and times.
- Updates for Friday, September 11th
- 6:45 a.m.
- weather forecast for tonight – clear skies
- northern lights forecast – very good
- note: All the technical numbers sky rocketed last night, and I did go out around 3:30 am, but could not find clear skies. Conditions are super right now, but we have to hope the numbers stay that way through the day.
- 11:00 a.m.
- weather – skies starting to clear per forecast!
- northern lights conditions – we should be in Russia right now!
- note #1: power in atmosphere is very high (55Gw via Ovation Aurora)
- note #2: Minnesota technical numbers are great
- plan: If the number hold up, Boulder Lake will be a circus tonight which I would prefer to avoid. Thus, I plan to take everyone to a little known spot which will entail a 50 minute drive each way. Make sure your cars are gassed up!
- 1:00 p.m.
- NASA has upgraded tonight’s Solar Storm Warning from a G1 to a G2!
- 5:45 p.m.
- weather forecast: clear skies
- northern lights forecast: crashed at one point this afternoon, but building again.
- note: still no decision on this evening, but trend is favorable … most numbers are good at this time.
- 7:30 p.m.
- We are go for liftoff! (meet at 8:50 pm, leave a 9:00 pm)
- Note: NASA has upgraded the Solar Storm warming to a G3 (highest possible). The admin for a Northern Lights group to which I below just posted this information. While not all the data is perfect, I personally am not going to risk missing this potential solar storm.
- Warning: The Northern Lights could easily still be a “no show”, but I will be leading everyone to one of the darkest viewing locations outside of the BWCA in Northern Minnesota. No promises, but I am heading out tonight. Patience is a virtue on these expeditions. Northern Lights displays can be boring and then WOW! If you want to come, dress warmly. Frost warning for tonight, which is great because it means clear skies.
- 6:45 a.m.
Here are two web sites which I use to monitor technical data:
- Current Space Weather Conditions from NOAA
- Ovation Aurora (want numbers greater than 35 GW … see upper right)
Finally a few photos I have taken over the past three nights in northeastern Minnesota. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the “stars align!”
Hawk Ridge at Dawn!
Okay … yours truly loves the outdoors including birds … thus this blog. While I photograph the night skies, a few minutes after dawn this morning saw me up at Hawk Ridge. Sharp-Shinned Hawks were in abundance hunting the thousands of Blue Jays which were migrating through the area. I took both images early this morning … both the Sharpie and the Blue Jay were in the same tree. This jay lived to see another day!