Sky-watchers have a few chances to view the northern lights in all of their celestial glory this week.
Environment Canada calls for bright sunshine and clear skies in the Metro Vancouver weather forecast and that's a boon for locals hoping to view the aurora borealis.
Following several days of wild weather, which included snowfall and a powerful windstorm, skies are expected to clear Tuesday (Nov. 8) night for at least a few days.
According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), auroral activity will be highly active on Nov. 10, with displays possible overhead from Inuvik to Thunder Bay, Ontario, and down to cities south of the border including Seattle, Chicago, and Boston. That means folks in Metro Vancouver will have the possibility to observe the green glow.
The university's online aurora monitor map shows what regions the aurora's green glow will likely reach, as well as other areas where there is less of a possibility. Additionally, there is a brief description below the map of the aurora activity on that particular day. You can switch to other days to see the forecast, too.
Keep in mind, however, that the aurora might not appear a vibrant green to your naked eye. Instead, you might observe a greyish formation in the sky.
On Nov. 11, the university expects that numerous cities across North America will have the opportunity to view the dancing lights, with high auroral activity "overhead from Inuvik to Thunder Bay, Ontario and down to places south of the border including Seattle, Chicago, and Boston. That means folks in Metro Vancouver will have the possibility to observe the green glow."
During this time, the local forecast includes a 30 per cent chance of snow flurries or rain showers, so viewing opportunities may be more difficult.
Finally, the aurora forecast for Nov. 12 includes "active" auroral displays possible overhead in Vancouver, as well as the other areas that were viewable the previous night in North America.
While there may be some cloudy periods, there isn't any precipitation in the forecast for this night.
Everything B.C. residents need to know about viewing the Northern Lights
Want to view the vibrant, dancing lights in all of their sublime, celestial glory?
Light pollution in large cities makes the aurora borealis difficult to observe, but not impossible, given the right circumstances. That said, your best bet for viewing that hypnotic green glow is up north or outside of the city.
Since clear sky and darkness are both essential to see aurora, the best time is dictated by the weather and by the sunrise and sunset times.
The moon is also very bright and can make it more difficult to view the aurora, so lunar cycles should be taken into account. Photographing the colourful manifestation may also allow you to see them more clearly, as well as produce their vibrant colour.
- Find out more northern lights information and viewing tips with our comprehensive guide.