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Vancouver weather: Tips to see the northern lights dance on 2 nights

A geomagnetic storm could create a local display of the dancing lights.

The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes clearing skies and two chances to see the northern lights dancing low on the horizon this week. 

V.I.A.'s Downtown Centre Weatherhood station shows up to 16 mm of rain will fall on Tuesday, June 4, but the wet weather is expected to ease in the evening. Some cloud coverage is expected overnight. 

Skies are expected to clear during the day on Wednesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch for Tuesday caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun (see slide two).

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) calls for high auroral activity on Tuesday night, with displays "visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax" (see slide three).

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.

Metro Vancouver weather forecast calls for clear skies, a second chance to see northern lights

Locals have a second opportunity to view the northern lights on Wednesday.

The UAF calls for active auroral displays overhead that may be visible from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin, and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Sept-Iles, and "low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland, and St. Johns" (see slide four).

While the second viewing opportunity looks less vibrant, clear skies will improve viewing conditions. Additionally, a waning crescent moon won't obscure the display with too much light (compared to a full or nearly full moon). 

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