We were promised some of the strongest Northern Lights in 20 years and Mother Nature didn't disappoint. At least not in part of New York State where the skies weren't covered in clouds.

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center issued the first Severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch since 2005 for Friday, May 10. Additional solar eruptions caused geomagnetic storm conditions right through the weekend.

Clouds covered most of the Utica/Rome area but those who were willing to travel a little bit, were rewarded with a kaleidoscope of colors painting the New York sky.

The only thing cooler was being one of the lucky ones who traveled by plane and were able to see the Northern Lights from the sky.

Credit - Elizabeth McAdams
Credit - Elizabeth McAdams

Best Northern Lights Shots

Check out some of the best shots from New York, where there were no clouds, and beyond.

Stunning Northern Lights Dazzle Skies Across New York

The strongest Northern Lights display in 20 years didn't disappoint. At least not in the spots where skies were cloud-free. Check out some of the best shot from across the state and beyond.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

What Makes Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are caused by the interaction between the sun’s solar winds and Earth’s magnetic field, according to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

“Aurora is the name given to the glow or light produced when electrons from space flow down Earth’s magnetic field and collide with atoms and molecules of the upper atmosphere in a ring or oval centered on the magnetic pole of Earth."

READ MORE: NY Photographer Captures Northern Lights in Dazzling Time-Lapse Video

Credit - Shane Muckey
Credit - Shane Muckey

When is the Best Time to View?

The best time to view the lights is usually within an hour or two of midnight. So, sometime between 10 PM and 2 AM.

The Space Weather Prediction Center suggests finding a dark place away from city lights to see the prism of floating color.

READ MORE: 10 of the Most Instagram-Worthy Cities in New York

Night Sky Stars Clouds Northern Lights mirrored

When to See

Charles Deehr, a professor emeritus, and aurora forecaster at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute, says you'll need a little patience too.

If the activity is high, the lights can last about a half hour and occur every two hours.

96.1 The Eagle logo
Get our free mobile app

Solar activity is expected to increase into the fall creating more chances to see the Northern Lights from more places, including New York. Maybe next time Mother Nature will cooperate in Utica and Rome.

Photographer Captures Stunning Northern Lights Show in Adirondacks

Shane Muckey captured stunning pictures of the Northern Lights in the Adirondacks.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

Photographer Captures Stunning Northern Lights In Old Forge

It's not really common to see northern lights in Central New York, but photographer Kurt Gardner captured the beautiful conformation of them near Old Forge.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams