Best Time to See Aurora Borealis

7 Points to Consider Best Time to See Aurora Borealis

“When is the best time to see aurora borealis?” That’s probably the most asked question regarding the Northern Lights, and in this article, I’m going to provide you with a complete answer to that question. Generally, the Northern Lights season spans from September to March, but the best time to see aurora borealis depends on various factors.

That’s why I’ve created this guide – to help you determine the most ideal time for you personally to witness the Northern Lights. I’ll summarize the whole thing in a super handy month-by-month overview. So, grab a pen and a notepad because you’re in for a ride!

Best Time to See Aurora Borealis

Best time to see aurora borealis

1. Temperature

The Northern Lights are most visible within the Arctic Circle, where it tends to get pretty cold. From November to March, temperatures drop, with January and February having the lowest averages. If you want to avoid extreme cold, it’s best to go in the beginning of the Northern Lights season, in September or October. The average temperature also determines the clothing you’ll need to bring or purchase, especially if you’re not accustomed to colder climates.

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2. Snow

Snow is important to consider when planning your trip. In the Arctic, heavy snowfall, which usually occurs from the end of November until March, can make some places inaccessible. Keep in mind that the amount of snow also affects the types of activities you can do. While more snow is ideal for activities like dog sledding or snowmobiling, if you prefer hiking, it’s better to go earlier in the season when trails are more accessible.

3. Season

The landscape changes throughout the Northern Lights season, especially concerning the presence of snow and ice. In the beginning, autumn colors start to appear, creating beautiful hues in the sky and the landscape. However, as winter sets in and snow covers everything, the landscape becomes more monotoned. Additionally, earlier in the season, rivers and lakes remain ice-free, allowing for reflections of the Northern Lights in the water.

4. Tourism

Best Time to See Aurora Borealis

Popular Northern Lights destinations, like Tromso in Norway, experience a peak tourist season around Christmas and New Year’s. While celebrating the holidays under the Northern Lights can be magical, if you prefer a quieter experience, it’s advisable to avoid this time.

5. Daylight

In the northernmost regions, there are two months in the year when the sun does not rise above the horizon, known as the Polar Nights. This period, which occurs during the winter, brings long and dark nights, making it popular for Aurora hunting. However, it’s essential to consider the limited daylight for other activities during this time.

6. Equinoxes

Speculation suggests that the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes, around March 20th and September 20th, are good times to see the Northern Lights. During these times, there are more geomagnetic storms, resulting in a higher chance of witnessing the Aurora. Late September or late March might be considered ideal, but keep in mind that you’ll have to stay up later due to longer daylight hours.

7. Moon

The brightness of the night is crucial for seeing the Northern Lights, and the presence of a bright moon can impact visibility. A full moon may drown out a weak Aurora display, but it can enhance a strong display by lighting up the foreground and changing the sky’s color. Checking the phase of the moon online before planning your trip can help you avoid a full moon if desired.

So, these are the seven essential points to consider best time to see aurora borealis when planning your Northern Lights trip. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a complete answer to the age-old question of when is the best time to see aurora borealis. Now, you can determine the best time to see aurora borealis for you personally.

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