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low and moderate aurora forecasts?

S.W Wales
Level Contributor
249 posts
15 reviews
low and moderate aurora forecasts?

Ive been checking the aurora forecasts and it looks like we will expect a mixture of low and moderate aurora forecasts when we arrive wednesday until sunday.

With a low forecastis it still worth heading out of reykjavik to try and see them or not worth bothering?

How accurate are these forecasts?

Any advice? As i understand it we need to be away from any artificial light in pitch black with clear skies?

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Gardabaer, Iceland
Level Contributor
10,700 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

is it still worth heading out of reykjavik to try and see them or not worth bothering?

- Look more into the overcast forecast rather than the aurora forecast itself. The aurora forecast is in it's dawn of existence so they aren't all that accurate.

How accurate are these forecasts?

- See above, they're not ;-)

Any advice? As i understand it we need to be away from any artificial light in pitch black with clear skies?

- No need for a pitch black surroundings. Any really strong light sources, or various multiple sources all around, (such as city lights) make it harder to see and enjoy the NL. As you can read in recent posts in this forum people still see NL within the city limits at times. For photographing the NL a tripod is necessary, along with a whole lot of patience and some darkness :-)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,115 posts
2. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

A forecast longer than about a day seems to be wishful thinking!

Clear, dark and high forecast activity is ideal, but you may still see something if all the variables don't align.

My glimpse of it was on a 1 activity night, half-clouded with city lights bouncing off the cloud:

gowildimages.com/Landscapes/…A

Toronto
Level Contributor
390 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

The last time I was in Iceland, I saw the aurora from Akureyri, on a night with a full moon, with partly-cloudy (tending to overcast) conditions, a few hundred meters from the heart of the downtown (we drove just to the other side of the fjord). The lights were bright enough to be seen while I was still in the car with my headlights on. It was gorgeous.

…deviantart.com/art/Northern-lights-over-Aku…

No guarantees, though. An hour earlier, there wasn't anything to see in the sky. An hour or so later, the lights were fading and the clouds had completely covered the sky. Some displays are multicoloured, horizon-to-horizon spectacular, some are just faint little patches of rippling white. (Those fainter displays are where you need totally dark skies--though even the bright displays are more impressive under darker skies.)

I will mention that the Icelandic Met Office (en.vedur.is) - in addition to being simply vital for planning your days out - provides good cloud cover forecasts which can guide your aurora hunting:

…vedur.is/weather/…total

S.W Wales
Level Contributor
249 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

Thanks for all the replies and advice! Its our main aim of our trip to see them so we will try to see them if the cloud is right.

Fingers crossed!

Now i have yo research how to take photos of them :)

Singapore
Level Contributor
14 posts
137 reviews
5. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

Hi! We just spent 4 nights at Reykjavik / Mosfellsbær and the aurora forecast for each night was different when we checked during the day and during late afternoon. First night, we hardly saw anything while on a jeep tour, but many people on bus tours saw really beautiful display of the northern lights. Last night was supposed to be promising with really clear skies, but aurora activity dropped till very low along the way and we saw nothing during the bus tour, which also ended rather early. But when we reached our hotel room in Mosfellsbær and opened the window, we enjoyed a beautiful display, despite all the street lights and building lights!

Hope you will get clear skies and see beautiful northern lights :)

6. Re: low and moderate aurora forecasts?

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