Welcome back to the north, Aurora!

Hi Everyone, I have been enjoying the summer and enjoying the aurora photos that have been posted from the South Pole, where it is dark March-August. It is a nice break though not to pay attention to the forecasts too much and get a little sleep. It has been sooooo rainy, cloudy, and also smoky from wildfires up in the north, that any auroras seen lately have been mostly covered. Very few people have seen the lights (faint) in the past few days. The aurora was seen in the first week of August more south, such as Kodiak and Vancouver! The past several nights, Yellowknife and Churchhill have seen nice lights.

You can see auroras as soon as the midnight sun gives way to a little darkness. For Fairbanks, this happens the first week of August. Any reference you see to an “aurora season” is mostly due to tourism and businesses, not for lack of aurora. However, the time frame to see aurora that first week of August is very small, because it’s only dark a short time. As the earth rotates, the darkness now covers most of Alaska at night, and the aurora can be seen further and further north. As we get closer to winter solstice, the sky is dark much of the sun, thereby extending the aurora viewing times much longer.

For this season, I will not be updating this website everytime we have an aurora event, but only if it is truly a great forecast that I wouldn’t want anyone to miss, or if I have photos to share or an annoucement of any kind. Auroras in the news and business specials too. Be sure to “get notifications” on Facebook to see if the aurora is out nightly, or subscribe to NOAA Space Weather free email alerts for aurora storms. You can also join the Facebook subscription group “Aurora Tonight” for one on one help with your planning and aurora adventure.

Heads up for auroras Monday night Aug 26/27 from Alaska and Canada. Kp 4 is forecast. Fairbanks can see auroras at Kp 0. A Kp 4 indicates that the aurora might be bigger, but not necessarily more grand. Let’s see what the data does Monday night!

The coronal hole high speed stream is due to come around again about Sept 1 UTC. I want you to be on standby for auroras on the night of Aug 30/31, Sept 1, and 2. Being early is ok, being late, well, you will miss it.

As we start up the “season” of nightly aurora watches, I have 2 annoucements. One is Aurora Dora is hosting an aurora photo workshop in Talkeetna, Alaska. She always sells out, so reserve your spot soon. Visit her store when in Talkeetna, or when you are in Sedona, Arizona. Every person that walks in the store says “WOW!”.

Secondly, AT Frosted Lens is having a “Back to Aurora Sale”. Prepare your camera while it’s still warm out so you are ready to go when the cold hits! I have one, and it is NICE!!! ~Have a great rest of August! Amy