Auroral Oval and Solar Wind (source NOAA)
The Sun Now (source NASA)
CMEs, coronal holes
Cloud Coverage (source WINDY)
What’s the probability of seeing the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights tonight? 30-60 minutes forecast for both the Northern and the Southern Lights and live solar wind data right at your fingertips.
The 30 minutes Aurora forecast is very useful for short time predictions. Just find your location on the mini-map and see if the theoretical Aurora (in green/orange/red) extends over the location you’re interested in! The color legend is at the bottom of each image (green = lower probability ranging from 0-50%; yellow-orange = higher probability ranging from 50-90%; red = highest probability, over 90%). Note that you also need a clear sky to see the Aurora! However, if you do visit me here in Vadsø, you can listen to the Northern Lights even if it’s cloudy or even in summer! Or, to scientifically maximize your chances to see the Aurora with a professional guide, why not join me in the Hunt the Aurora activity here in Vadsø!
The Kp index is a calculated value that quantifies the disturbance of Earth’s magnetic field, thus how far South Auroras can be theoretically seen in the Northern Hemisphere (and, similarly, how far north Auroras can be seen in the Southern hemisphere). Vadsø, as well as the whole region of Varanger, is situated in a Kp 0 territory, thus a Kp of 0 is theoretically needed for the Northern Lights to occur. The higher the Kp value, the higher probability for (more intense) Aurorae. Please read The Northern Lights page for more details about Kp.
The solar wind live data is extremely useful for enhancing the prediction of the short time Aurora. In function of the current Auroral conditions (Kp), the solar wind speed and density can boost the confidence of the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. The larger their value, the better. The Bz component does the same, however, its value should be negative for a nice display of the Aurora.
The live solar information is important in Aurora forecast, as coronal holes, solar flares or coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are responsible for geomagnetic storms. A geomagnetic event occurring on Earth at a later time may be predicted from this live data.
The weather forecast is equally important for Aurora viewing, as clouds can hide the beautiful dancing lights. The weather map gives a weather trend, forecasted through a weather model. I can estimate right on the spot where and when cloud clearings might occur. Avoid disappointment by not seeing the Aurora during the rather short period you’re here up North, and let me help you maximize your chances of seeing the magical Northern Lights in the winter Arctic Sky! This is exactly what I do during the Hunt the Aurora activity, so come to Vadsø to hunt the Lights with me!
Why not carry out the “Learn the Aurora” Northern Lights workshop here in Vadsø, or the “Learn the Aurora Online” Northern Lights online course, and learn how to use this data like an expert? You will understand through simple physical experiments, what Bz exactly is and why it should be negative, or what the Kp index tells you and how to interpret the different Auroral models, and much more! And the fun part is that you can even get certified in Northern Lights by Aurora Labs if you do one of the “Learn the Aurora” activities!