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Aurora Displays:  The northern latitudes (or southern latitudes in the southern hemisphere) see the greatest occurrence of the Aurora.  In the northern hemisphere, there is a 50% or greater chance of seeing Aurora roughly between the latitudes of 55 to 80 degrees north.  This means in general that in these latitudes, the Aurora should occur on at least half of the nights throughout the year.   However, this also varies.  Aurora displays usually increase during times of the solar maximum.  They also usually show a greater frequency during the winter months, where the nights are longer and the skies generally void of haze.  Although most common in the northern latitudes, the Aurora have been occasionally seen south of 35 degrees north latitude which encompasses the far southern United States.  Displays this far south can occur when a large coronal mass ejection from the Sun creates a huge geomagnetic storm in the Earth's outer atmosphere.  This occurred on the night of November 5th and 6th, 2001 where amazing Aurora displays were seen as far south as Texas, Arizona and San Diego, CA

Brian Klimowski, NWS Rapid City SD, took this spectacular picture of an Aurora Borealis display on November 5th, 2001 in Rapid City.  The Aurora this night was seen over many parts of the Northern Hemisphere north of the tropics, courtesy of an usually large geomagnetic storm.

Aurora Borialis Links