Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Some Chance of Aurora Borealis Above Oregon, the Coast Sunday, Monday

Published 07/15/2017 at 6:43 PM PDT - Updated 07/15/2017 at 7:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Some Chance of Aurora Borealis Above Oregon, the Coast Sunday, Monday

(Oregon Coast) – A different kind of storm watch has been issued for the skies above Oregon and the Oregon coast: a geomagnetic storm watch. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued that for the northern latitudes of Earth for July 16 and 17, which could mean some glimpses of the Aurora Borealis in this area on Sunday and Monday night.

Chances are better to spot the northern lights in northeastern Oregon, but the northwestern portion of the state has a chance as well. Portland and the valley areas have clear nighttime forecasts, while the north Oregon coast is looking a bit cloudy on those nights – but with plenty of breaks.

Find a dark area free of city lights and start looking around midnight.

Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland's OMSI, said this comes from a massive solar flare on Friday morning. Storms could be category G2 for both days, which is moderately strong.

Still, it's literally a shot in the dark as to whether Oregon and its coastline will glimpse any of this.

“It all depends on the timing,” Todd said. “How strong the KP is and when it arrives.”

KP is the measurement index of a geomagnetic storm. Todd said some of the strongest portions could be hitting the Earth during the day and then the smaller amounts at night, leaving watchers – well, in the dark. Todd said some of this space weather starts hitting Sunday afternoon.

Scientists around the world a bit abuzz about this solar flare on Friday. It came from sunspot AR2665, which erupted in a powerful and long-lasting M2-class solar flare. It lasted for more than two hours, battering the upper layers of the Earth with sustained and powerful X-rays and energetic protons. This onslaught from space even affected radio communications around the north pole regions and parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Forecasts around the Pacific Northwest are mostly clear for both those nights, although the Oregon coast is predicted to have fairly cloudy skies. Some of the better spots to look for this will likely be in the coast range mountains, especially on Highway 26 near the summits. See Oregon Coast Weather.

If you try from the Oregon coast, stick to areas north of Tillamook, such as Manzanita, Cannon Beach or Warrenton. One really good spot to plant your camera gear would be the gravel pullout just north of the Neahkahnie Overlooks, which looks towards Short Beach and Cape Falcon. The beaches north of Gearhart may also yield better results as there are little to no light interference issues there. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

Below: photos of the Aurora from the coast range and the Oregon coast, as well as some of the spots listed:

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Festival of Illusions Returns to Oregon Coast for Both Spring Breaks
It once again pops into existence from March 25 through April 5. Lincoln City events
Video: Eight Stunning Skies on Oregon Coast - Moody, Startling, Surreal
On cloudy days, the final hours can present some remarkable surprises. Depoe Bay, Newport, Lincoln City, Rockaway Beach, Cannon Beach
Some Oregon Coast Areas Under Restrictions Due to Endangered Bird
From March through September 15, some beaches will have signs in their nesting areas
State Officials Send Safety, Warning Reminders for Oregon Coast; Video
State Parks is sending out reminders about beach safety
Latest on Oregon Coast Crabbing - New Dock for N. Coast Lake
Good news abounds for those who love fishing and crabbing. Sciences
Central Oregon Coast Spring Preview: Lincoln City Events in March, April
Beachcombing clinics, vintage films, food classes and even a week-long magic festival. Lincoln City events
What They Don't Tell You About Oregon Coast's Spring; Video
April and May create a jumble of amazing sights you can't see any other time of year. Sciences
Big Boom, Flash Likely Exploding Meteor, Say Oregon Scientists; Video
Experts are pointing to what is a bolide meteor: essentially a fireball that explodes

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted