Keep track of the live dancing lights in the local sky.
Metro Vancouver people hoping to observe dancing lights in the sky over the weekend might want to keep an eye on a handy online tool.
Environment Canada requires bright sunshine and clear skies all weekend, and it’s a blessing for locals hoping to see the northern lights.
The Northern Lights are expected to be very active across most of Canada on Saturday (October 30) night and on Halloween, albeit somewhat less active on the eerie day.
But the heavenly event, like any weather forecast, is not guaranteed.
That said, the forecast includes a high probability of a spectacular view (and maybe even a creepy one on Halloween).
According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Northern Lights activity will be very active on Saturday, with views possible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit, to Portland OR, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Springfield and New York City, and visible low on the horizon so as far south as Carson City, Oklahoma City and Raleigh. “
There is also a possibility that locals will see the lively demonstration on All Hallows’ Eve, but the display is not expected to be as strong in Vancouver.
You can visit the university’s online aurora monitor for a daily forecast of “geomagnetic activity for the next three days at three-hour intervals.”
The map shows which areas the Northern Lights’ green glow is likely to reach, as well as another area where there is less opportunity. In addition, there is a brief description under the map of the Northern Lights activity on the day in question. You can also switch to other days to see the weather forecast.
Below average activity levels, Northern Lights screens will be overhead at high northern or southern latitudes. Places like Fairbanks, Alaska; Dawson City, Yukon; Yellowknife, NWT; Gillam, Manitoba; The southern tip of Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Tromsø, Norway; and the northern coast of Siberia gives everyone a good chance to see the northern lights over their heads.
The UAF notes that “fairly strong northern lights activity is required to see the northern lights” in Vancouver.
What is the best time at night to see the aurora?
UAF recommends that you plan to be out for three or four hours around midnight. That said, the dance lights are active all night. Since clear skies and darkness are both essential to seeing the northern lights, the best time is dictated 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 northern lights, so lunar cycles should be considered.