Northern Lights: When Can You See Them in Vancouver?

Sky watchers, rejoice!

While there may be some cloudy periods to be aware of, Metro Vancouverites have a chance to see some aurorae activity in the coming days.

For Friday (Sept. 16), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA) predicted no G1 (minor) geomagnetic storms or “significant transient or recurring solar wind features.”

But according to the University of Fairbanks (UAF), active aurora on Friday will be visible overhead in places like “Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles,” and visible low on the horizon from ” Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St. Johns.”

The university’s online aurora monitor map shows which regions the aurora’s green glow is likely to reach, as well as other areas where it’s less likely. In addition, there is a short description below the map of the aurora activity on that particular day. You can also switch to other days to see the forecast.

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Photo via University of Fairbanks

On Saturday, the university forecast includes more active overhead aurora borealis from “Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles”, as well as visible low on the horizon from “Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St Johns.”

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Photo via University of Fairbanks

Everything BC residents need to know about watching the Northern Lights

Want to see the vibrant, dancing lights in all their sublime, celestial glory?

Light pollution in major cities makes the aurora borealis difficult to observe, but not impossible, given the right conditions. That said, your best bet for seeing that mesmerizing green glow is up north or out of town.

Since clear skies and darkness are both essential for seeing aurora, the best time is determined by the weather and by the times of sunrise and sunset.

The moon is also very bright and can make it harder to see the aurora, so be aware of lunar cycles.

  • Discover more information about the Northern Lights and viewing tips with our comprehensive guide.

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