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You might be able to see the northern lights on 4 nights in Metro Vancouver

Find out how and when to see the display locally.
The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes the chance to see northern lights on several occasions starting on November 20, 2023.

The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes clear skies this week and the possibility of some colourful manifestations on the horizon.

V.I.A.'s Granville Island Weatherhood station shows a double-digit high of 10 C to kick off the week, followed by an overnight low of 5 C. While there will be increasing cloudiness overnight, it isn't expected to rain. 

The American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center hasn't issued a geomagnetic storm watch but G1(minor) storm levels were observed over the past 24 hours. 

According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), auroral activity will be high overnight Monday (Nov. 20), with viewing opportunities possible "overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Sept-Iles," and "low on the horizon from Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax."

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.

Photo via The University of Alaska Fairbanks

Vancouver weather forecast and northern lights viewing opportunities

While the aurora's green glow isn't expected to reach as far south as it could on Monday night, Wednesday and Thursday nights are expected to offer more chances to view the haunting display. 

The weather forecast will also likely cooperate. A storm is expected to bring continuous rain to the Lower Mainland overnight Tuesday but it is expected to ease by Wednesday morning. After that, a long run of bone-dry, chillingly cold weather is expected to commence. 

The UAF says viewing may be possible low on the horizon in places as far south as "Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland, and St. Johns."

Photo via The University of Alaska Fairbanks

Chances of seeing the northern lights improve heading into the weekend, and skies are also expected to be clear. 

On Friday and Saturday nights, the UAF expects the auroral activity will be high again, with viewing possibilities low on the horizon extending past Vancouver down to Seattle. 

Photo via The University of Alaska Fairbanks


Photo via The University of Alaska Fairbanks
Photo via The University of Alaska Fairbanks

When you do spot the northern lights, 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.