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IN PHOTOS: After months of little activity, northern lights dance across Western Canadian skies

Northern Lights near Alix, Alta. on March 28, 2019. Courtesy: Dar Tanner

It’s been several months since a good northern lights display has been visible as far south as Brooks, Alta.

A coronal hole on the sun produces solar winds, and those winds hit Earth early this week where they interacted with elements in our atmosphere creating the beautiful aurora borealis.

Moderately bright dancing lights in the night sky were reported late Wednesday into Thursday morning across much of Alberta and the Yukon.

Northern Lights near Alix, Alta. on March 28, 2019. Courtesy: Tree Tanner
Northern Lights near Alix, Alta. on March 28, 2019. Courtesy: Dar Tanner
Northern Lights near La Glace, Alta. on March 28, 2019. Courtesy: Steve Mumert
Northern Lights near Vimy, Alta. on March 28, 2019. Courtesy: Song Despins

READ MORE: How to catch the Northern Lights this week in Alberta 

According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre, the chances of seeing northern and southern lights over the next two nights are minor, with the greatest chances being overnight Thursday into Friday.

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This time-lapse video by Monte Heyn was captured near Sexsmith, Alta.:

If weather conditions are right, a minor geomagnetic storm will often produce dim to moderately bright northern lights.

This means, for early Friday morning, there is a more than 50 per cent likelihood of being able to see northern lights over northern sections of almost all the Canadian provinces. The chances of seeing at least faint dancing lights diminishes to less than 50 per cent in central and southern regions.

The OVATION Aurora Forecast Model shows a moderate chance of seeing Northern Lights in Northern parts of Canada overnight Thursday into Friday morning.
The OVATION Aurora Forecast Model shows a moderate chance of seeing Northern Lights in Northern parts of Canada overnight Thursday into Friday morning. Credit: Space Weather Prediction Center

Seasoned aurora chasers warn that even with a favourable forecast, you need a fair amount of good luck to catch the phenomenon.

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Upstream indications of aural activity can sometimes be a better way to gauge the likelihood of seeing the northern lights again Thursday night.

READ MORE: Here’s how you can catch the northern lights this week

Many Canadian aurora chasers look to space meteorologist Tamitha Skov for updates on the aurora forecast. Her Twitter feed will often show reports of aurora borealis (in the northern hemisphere) and aurora australis (in the southern hemisphere) in time zones several hours ahead of Western Canada.

As always, social media users interested in viewing aurora in Alberta can look to the Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook page, which will light up with reports once northern lights are visible in their region.

Watch below: Previous Global News video of aurora borealis around the country 

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