August 5, 2011, Wichita Falls, Texas~
My name is JimBeau Reaux. I am here in Wichita Falls, Texas, with a couple of my chasing friends. We are going storm chasing later, but this is not your typical thunderstorm. In fact, there is not any thunder (or heavy rains, lightning, hail, wind, or tornadoes involved). Confused? Let me explain:
According to www.spaceweather.com, there have been some geometric storm activity on the sun. They are putting out solar winds, which buffet the magnetic fields surrounding earth. If conditions play out right, there could be aurora borealis displays as far south as Texas. According to the K index, which forecasts the northern lights, a level of 8 could mean that people in North Texas could see possible auroral displays. If it goes even higher, then the southern states could see said auroras. Right now it is at a 7 and is expected to possibly go even higher, so auroras just might be a distinct possiblity.
Auroras usually don't get any lower than the northern latitudes (Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia). If they go to the mid levels, then states from Tennessee on up will possibly see the lights. If they get to the lower latitude, then states below that line (including Texas) might be able to see the aurora borealis. To see an auroral display this far south is a very rare event, so people are starting to pay attention to the latest forecast soundings from a variety of sources (www.noaa.gov, www.spaceweather.com, etc.).
Auroras are incredible to look at (personally, I have never seen an aurora; I've only seen them in pictures or on television or in books), but they can mess up radio signals, phone lines, and even computer systems. Until the storm subsides, then these items should be back to normal, but until then, there's the distinct possibility of a lot of irate or annoyed people. LOL
Later, my friends Reed, Tanner, Jill, Teague, Moose, Jarrett, Calvin, and myself plan on going away from the city's lights and go out to the country, where there will be very little in the way of light pollution. We should have a good viewing of the aurora borealis if it decides to commence. Hopefully it will. It would certainly be a sight to see! (Moose, who was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, has seen auroras numerous time, so this is old hat to him; for the rest of us, it's our first time, and we are extremely excited about it!) We plan on getting drunk and having a great time watching the auroras.
Well, I'm gonna have some gumbo with my family, then leave in about an hour to meet up with my friends at Smokey Joe's Barbeque Pit, and go out to the country to be on an aurora chase. Pray we get to see some; this would really be spectacular for those of us who have not seen them live!
~JimBeau Reaux, Lafayette, Louisiana (by way of Wichita Falls, Texas).