Big show of northern lights not expected in Western Washington

Despite rumors and articles on social media and elsewhere, Western Washington is not expected to get a big show of the northern lights on Wednesday night.

Chief meteorologist Morgan Palmer says we have a minor geomagnetic storm happening right now but that is unlikely to produce any significant displays of the aurora borealis Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Morgan monitors the "Kp index" which is a measure of the disturbance of the earth's magnetic field that could produce auroral shows. He says not to get excited.

"We would need a Kp index of 7 or better to get really excited for a big show. At Kp 4 or 5 where we might be Wednesday night, some time-lapse photographers might get some glow but it's very difficult to see with the naked eye. At those low levels of activity, you would have to be in a completely dark location well away from city lights, and even then, you might not see anything at all."