The Northern Lights will illuminate the night sky of a large part of the Northern Hemisphere Thursday night, thanks to the recent solar flare and associated coronal mass ejection that's interacting with the upper levels of earth's atmosphere. In fact, this forecast map from the Geophysical Institute shows that weak auroral activity could be observed as far south as Seattle, Chicago and Southeastern Massachusetts! The issue for the Northeast United States will be clouds associated with a strong cold front moving through. This leaves most of New England out of the mix for an auroral display, though the remainder of the Northern Tier of the U.S. should have excellent viewing conditions, with the exception of the Puget Sound area, where clouds will be moving in off the Pacific.
Northeast US Cloud Forecast for Midnight Thursday night (click to enlarge):
Eastern US Cloud Forecast for Midnight Thursday night:
Western US Cloud Forecast for Midnight Thursday night: