Attention, aurora watchers! Metro Vancouver residents may finally have a chance to see the Northern Lights up close this week.
According to Canada’s Aurora Forecast and The University of Alaska Fairbanks, an active aurora watch has been issued for Monday, April 24th to Wednesday, April 26th, with an “elevated aurora” display forecasted for April 24th.
Aurora Forecast predicts a good chance of isolated “minor auroral substorms and favourable conditions for major aurora activity.”
A collision between the sun’s charged particles and gasses in Earth’s upper atmosphere, the lights of the Aurora Borealis are often visible from northern destinations like the Yukon, Norway and Greenland.
However, when the sun is more active, the lights are pushed down and out, giving those further away from the Earth’s poles a better view.
This means that Metro Vancouverites now have a better chance than ever to see the Northern Lights – which are classified by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre as a G4-level geomagnetic storm.
Metro Vancouverites who’ve waited years to see the northern lights, the #AuroraBorealis, look at this graphic and weep. #BCstorm @bobmackin @bc_news_addict @vancity_kapoor @RandySmall @ChuckDalldorf @HowesNathan
That’s the forecast for around 8:30 PM PDT. pic.twitter.com/eqzksJ35f0
— Peter Vogel (@PeterVogel) April 24, 2023
According to the University, the best time to watch for an aurora display is the three or four hours around midnight. Although weather and sunrise and sunset times also determine the level of visibility.
Currently, Environment Canada forecasts “periods of drizzle” for the night of April 24th, but that hasn’t stopped Vancouver hopefuls from witnessing some pretty breathtaking displays.
In fact, just yesterday, the Northern Lights were slightly visible to the naked eye.
And even better news, the skies should be clearing up over the next couple of days, so not all hope for a rain-free viewing is lost!
So there you have it, Vancouver. Nothing is promised, but if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of green in the sky, now could be your chance. Good luck!