Northern lights may be visible in Western Washington again this week

Thanks to two solar storms, the northern lights made an appearance over the Puget Sound early Tuesday, according to several photographs of the natural event.

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are lights in the night sky caused when solar winds create disturbances in the magnetosphere.

The first storm arrived early July 19, illuminating the night sky most of the night.

Photographer Sigma Sreedharan captured the lights dancing above Seattle at 1:28 a.m. Tuesday.

There continues to be the potential for auroral activity through Saturday, though the best chances to see it would be away from city lights and with time-lapse or long-exposure still photography.

Since this is not a strong solar-storm event, seeing it with the naked eye could be difficult.

However, forecasts for auroral activity are difficult and often unreliable, with only a very short lead time of an hour or less before a sudden uptick in activity.

The current forecasts have times of increased expected activity the next few days during the afternoon and evening hours here, when we’re still in daylight.

Also, summer is not the best time to view the northern lights because there are only a few hours of complete darkness each day.

But still, given the lack of certainty, there will be that shot each night to catch a view.

The best way to see it will likely be using time-lapse photography or long-exposure photos.