The Northern Lights may be visible from Scotland this weekend

Forecasters have said that the Northern Lights might be visible from the UK this weekend (23 March), thanks to a solar storm on its way to Earth.

By Group Reporter
Friday, 22nd March 2019, 3:59 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:08 pm

by Alex Nelson

Those at higher latitudes are more likely to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis said the Met Office, particularly those in Scotland.

The Northern Lights are created by disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere caused by a flow of particles from the Sun and are usually concentrated around the Earth's magnetic poles.

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Those in the Highlands, Dundee and Aberdeen are more likely to have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights (Photo: Shutterstock)

They can spread further south when the concentration of particles is higher, for instance following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) of plasma from the sun.

One such Ejection occurred on Wednesday (20 March), following a solar flare.

What are my chances of actually seeing the Northern Lights?

The Met Office's Space account tweeted, "CME forecast to arrive late 23rd March following C5 flare from sunspot AR2736.”

Bonnie Diamond, meteorologist at the Met Office, said, "A Coronal Mass Ejection has happened and the effects of that are expected to arrive later tomorrow evening.

"Whether or not you will see the Northern Lights depends on where you are and what the weather is like."

The forecast for Glasgow and Edinburgh doesn’t bode well for those keen to see the lights, although cloud could break long enough to catch a glimpse.

The weather for more northern areas looks better, with the Scottish Highlands, Dundee and Aberdeen predicted to have clearer skies.

"The clearest skies are further east in Aberdeenshire, where there are plenty of clear skies. Further north, you're pretty likely to see something," said Diamond.