Travellers in West and South Iceland are in luck tonight as forecasters predict cloudless skies, optimal conditions for hunting down the beautiful Aurora Borealis.
While yesterday’s weather felt tumultuous and unpredictable, the skies are thought to be clearing up as the evening moves in. The Icelandic Meteorologist Office is predicting little to no cloud coverage over the whole of West Iceland—including the Reykjavík area, Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords—as well as the South Coast, all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
The Met Office has also given tonight a moderate Aurora rating of 3 on the Kp-index. The Kp-index measures the strength of particles entering the earth’s magnetic field.
If you are planning on hunting the Northern Lights tonight, make sure you wrap up warm because the evening might get a little chilly. Temperatures should be around -3 to -5°C shortly after midnight in the capital area, but the countryside will be slightly colder. Those in South Iceland should also prepare themselves for mild levels of wind.
On clear nights like the one predicted to be tonight, seeing the Northern lights requires little more than total darkness. The best way to get that is to leave behind the bright lights of the city and head into the darkened countryside.
However, if you can’t get away from the capital, sometimes it is enough to simply get away from the lights of downtown Reykjavík. Places such as Grótta Lighthouse, which is a short distance away from the Grandi area, and Heiðmörk, which is located just outside the city limits, are perfect for those looking to do some Northern Lights gazing.
Of course, the absolute best way to see the dancing aurora is on a Northern Lights tour where a professional guide will help you witness the lights swirl across the sky.
As springtime approaches, the nights in Iceland become shorter. Sunset today isn’t until 20:09 and total darkness won’t be until 20:59. The final opportunity to see the Northern Lights are now; at the end of March and beginning of April.
From May until the end of August, the Midnight Sun will illuminate the nights of this little island, providing whole new levels of beauty.