How To See the Northern Lights
The SWPC's 3-Day Forecast projects the G1 watch to land between 11pm on Wednesday and 2am on Thursday. The moon will be quite bright that night when it rises a bit after midnight. So, the early end of the SWPC's window is probably your best bet for quality viewing. The lights can certainly be visible after moonrise, but all other things being equal, they'll look more spectacular prior to any interference from the moon.
To get the best experience, get out of the city, away from light pollution that will minimize your view of the lights and the stars above. Additionally, an SWPC representative previously told Thrillist, "You need very clear skies, a good view of the northern horizon (no trees, buildings, or hills), and it needs to be dark." For viewers in the US, the northern lights are most likely to sit along the northern horizon rather than directly overhead.
The key to crossing the display off your bucket list is persistence and patience. Get out there and don't stop looking. If it's not there at the moment, there's nothing that says it won't be in a couple of minutes. If it's there right now, it could be gone in a flash.
The aurora is occasionally visible in the northern US. However, if you haven't seen it, it's not worth ignoring an opportunity. As SpaceWeather.com has noted, it was a "summer without sunspots." The rarity of sunspots from June 21 to September 22 means there's been less aurora activity than there has been in other years. (That's partly because we are at a point in the solar cycle where the sun is less active.) Solar activity is the key to the presence of the northern lights. (Get a full explanation of how that works here.)
It's a school night, but you're not in school anymore. (Ahem. Probably.) Get out there and just have an extra cup of coffee at work on Thursday. It'll be worth it. (Plus, you can get a free coffee in the afternoon to help you make it through the day.)