Northern Lights perfect storm creates great displays across Minnesota

Becky Stromeier has been chasing the Aurora Borealis for the last three years, but Thursday night, she says she witnessed the most spectacular light show in the night sky so far.

"It's just a fun chase and you get a beautiful reward at the end. It was amazing. I have been freaking out all day about it, looking at pictures. Just seeing the response from people around. It's like everybody in the whole state could see it," said Strohmeier, who started the Twin Cities Aurora Chasers Facebook group about a year ago.

Stargazers all over the state are still buzzing about the brilliant images they captured of the northern lights, from the North Shore to Albert Lea.

They are usually hard to see in the Twin Cities because of light pollution. 

But FOX 9 meteorologist Jennifer McDermed says the solar flares that cause them were so intense, they created the perfect storm to make the swirling lights visible, even in the metro.

"The reason why it was so vivid last night is because this was the strongest geomagnetic storm we've seen in about six years and we had very clear skies," said McDermed.


Northern Lights put on a show in Twin Cities, Minnesota

The Nothern Lights put on a show in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota Thursday night.

Doug Cottrell from Hudson, Wisconsin took more than 500 photos of the celestial showstoppers at Boulder Lake, about 30 minutes north of Duluth.

"It was an out of this world experience. If you ever want to feel like you're in space or anything like that, that is what you need to do," said Cottrell, a member of the Great Lakes Aurora Hunters Facebook group.

All of the pictures illuminate the beauty and boldness of the cosmos.

Like many Minnesotans, Strohmeier will be keeping her eyes on the skies from now on.

"Phenomenal. That's what people pay the big bucks to go to Iceland and Alaska for, and we had it right here," said Strohmeier.

A lot of Aurora hunters check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to find out when and where they might be able to see the Northern Lights.