Tonight’s forecast is quiet to unsettled, meaning Kp 2

Tonight, you may already be in bed. The skies are clear in Fairbanks and the aurora is faint. Not much is expected tonight, but if you are in Fairbanks and it is your only night out, then yes, head on out to catch the lights (toward the north if not overhead). With a lower Kp level or faint lights the best location is Cleary Summit On the link, you will find a map and a photo of Cleary. You can see for miles and miles in the right direction, and if the lights are out at all, you will see them on top Cleary. Other locations can be found at Where To Go. The expected Kp level is 2. Same forecast for tomorrow night. Thursday night and throughout the weekend, we are expecting more active lights (Kp 4 predicted at this point) due to a high speed solar stream.

Cozy in bed? Check the lights out on cam at ABN Aurora Cam, Alaska Aurora Cam, or the All-sky cam at Poker Flat. For Wasilla, check out the Kick Ax Cam.

For a full list of aurora cams see Cams on auroranotify.com

In Fairbanks, no matter the forecast, there is a chance to see the northern lights. Even a Kp 0 can produce a good display. This is one reason why you cannot rely on simple Kp alerts or Kp forecasts. Other factors are considered. The solar wind speed and particle density matter as well. There is some good activity on the sun this week, which produces the conditions we need for auroras. Each and every day the forecast is reevaluated and updated. Relying on the 27 day solar cycle is ok, but it is best to get updated daily. You can view the raw data yourself at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ or continue to watch this website and also the aurora social media pages and groups to gain knowledge of the lights.

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