Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Northern lights in Metro Vancouver tonight: Important viewing tips

Here's what you need to know for Friday and Saturday night.

The northern lights may put on a spellbinding show in Metro Vancouver tonight..provided the weather cooperates. 

Earlier this month, the aurora borealis produced a once-in-a-lifetime display in the region, allowing locals to see vibrant hues without binoculars or cameras. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center expects similar, stormy space weather heading into this weekend and issued a geomagnetic storm watch for Friday, May 31 to June 1 (see slide two).

The space weather isn't expected to produce as intense a display as a couple of weeks ago, however. NOAA forecasts a G2 (moderate) storm warning for Friday compared to the G4 (severe) from May 10. 

The Metro Vancouver weather forecast must also cooperate to allow locals to see the display.

While residents woke up to bluebird skies Friday morning, clouds should roll in later this evening and may transition to rain overnight, according to V.I.A.'s Downtown Centre Weatherhood station.

When to view the Northern lights in Vancouver

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) expects the aurora activity will be "high," with active displays "visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin, and Iqaluit to Vancouver, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Bay City, Toronto, Montpelier, and Charlottetown" (see slide three).

The northern lights could also be visible low on the horizon from Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis, and Annapolis.

The university's online aurora monitor map shows what regions the aurora's glow may be visible overhead and where it may be visible low on the horizon. 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.

The aurora will also be active overhead on Saturday but a storm should make poor viewing conditions locally. The UAF's map shows the bright green hues extending below the Lower Mainland (see slide four).

Stay up-to-date with hyperlocal forecasts across 50 neighbourhoods in the Lower Mainland with V.I.A.'s Weatherhood.