ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — High latitude sky watchers should be on the alert for auroras Wednesday night into Thursday, and it’s certainly possible auroras could dance as far south as New York.

A G3-class Geomagnetic Storm Watch is in effect for the early hours of March 31 (from Wednesday night into Thursday morning) as a series of “sun burps” head toward the earth. The sun occasionally releases solar flares—chunks of energy that fly out into space—that sometimes head to earth.

This could be one of those times. When these flares reach the earth’s magnetic field, vivid auroras can dance across the poles. These geomagnetic storms, as we call them, are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 based on potency and subsequent impact on earth. The bigger the number, the more intense the storm, and in terms of auroras, the bigger the storm, the farther south auroras will be able to be seen.

Now that we’ve gotten the technicals out of the way, let’s get into the meat and potatoes as it relates to us. Auroras visible in New York are not everyday occurrences, but they do happen. Seeing them depends on a geomagnetic storm of sufficient intensity—at least a G3—and a clear sky.

On paper, we’ll satisfy the first element. The current G3 forecast can drive auroras as far south as the NY/PA line. While theoretically visible at our latitude in the wee hours of the morning, they would almost certainly not appear directly overhead. Rather, you’ll need a clear northward view, along with patience and luck in droves.