Metro Vancouver may have an opportunity to view a vibrant northern lights display this weekend.
While there are some clouds in this week's forecast, high auroral activity over the next couple of days could provide a particularly potent viewing opportunity.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G-1 minor to G-2 moderate geomagnetic storm warning for Thursday, March 23 through Saturday, March 25.
According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the auroral activity is expected to be active on Thursday, which will make displays possible overhead from "Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin, and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland, and St. Johns.."
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.
How to view the northern lights with peak Metro Vancouver weather conditions
Locals have the best chance to view the dancing lights Friday, provided the sky clears for the sky-watching experience. Auroral activity is expected to very high, according to the UAF, meaning that "highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Vancouver, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Bay City, Toronto, Montpelier, and Charlottetown, and visible low on the horizon from Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis and Annapolis."
There may be another opportunity to view the dancing lights Saturday, as the UAF calls for possible "active auroral displays" visible low on the horizon from Vancouver to St. Johns.
There may also be a couple of more viewing opportunities through the remainder of the weekend and heading into a sun-soaked week. On Sunday, the UAF expects high auroral activity will be possible as low on the horizon as "Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax."
Light pollution in large cities makes the aurora borealis difficult to observe, but not impossible, given the right circumstances. But your best bet for viewing that hypnotic green glow is up north or outside of the city.
Of course, when you do spot them, they likely won't appear green or any other colour. Instead, you'll see the arcing, milky manifestation moving in the sky. In order to capture that green glow, you'll need to use a camera with a longer exposure.
Find out more northern lights information and viewing tips with our comprehensive guide.