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Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

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Brooklyn, NY
posts: 109
reviews: 17
Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Hi everyone,

I am travelling to Iceland from Wednesday to Sunday next week (3/12 - 3/16). I looked at the weather forecast and the latest news is saying it will be cloudy and rainy during my trip. I understand Iceland is normally a wet country but I can't help but be concerned about my chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Has anyone had any luck seeing them in the past few weeks despite the rainy weather?

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but I admit I'd be a bit disappointed if I don't see the lights on my travels.

9 replies to this topic
Salisbury, United...
posts: 3,010
reviews: 69
1. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Sadly there is a possibility you won't see them. You should be going to Iceland t see the wonderful scenery and if you see the NL's that's a bonus.

To maximise your chances go with a small super jeep type tour and they will seek out them if at all possible. Otherwise be prepared to travel to any part of the country that has clear skies.

We saw the NL's on a night which had some cloud cover. Many people were disappointed as the NL's looked like wispy cloud and were not green as they had expected. However our photos were spectacular and showed the NL's as green with the cloud.

What has happened in the past really won't help in determining the future. It's all down to luck.

Enjoy your trip it's an amazing country and try not to focus solely on the NL's.

Brooklyn, NY
posts: 109
reviews: 17
2. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Thank you so much for your input! Do you have any recommendations on which tour group to use?

Miami, Florida
posts: 163
reviews: 30
3. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

I went to Iceland last week with the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. I kept checking the weather reports in the days before our trip, and they kept saying it would be rainy/snowy and cloudy every day. When we finally got to Iceland we had lots of sunshine and clear skies every night and were able to see a spectacular display. We used SuperJeep for our NL tour.

Salisbury, United...
posts: 3,010
reviews: 69
4. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

You can book the tours in Iceland and can book last minute. We booked at 18.00 for a 21.00 tour. That way you will know the weather. We used super jeep but they are all much of a much ness. I personally prefer to hire a car and go out on your own.

Vogar
posts: 1,015
5. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

The Reykjavik area has not experienced any precipitation at all during February and weather forecasts are very unreliable more than 48 hours in advance. Iceland is not such a wet country either, Reykjavik gets a lot less precipitation annually than, as an example, New York does.

Brooklyn, NY
posts: 109
reviews: 17
6. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

On weather.com, it seems like the chance of precipitation during our trip changes every time I check so I guess we'll have to just wait and see. Do you know if it's been cloudy/rainy in March so far in Reykjavik?

Edited: 3:46 pm, March 09, 2014
Brooklyn, NY
posts: 109
reviews: 17
7. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Thanks! I just booked a tour with Grey Lines for our first night there. I am hoping that if we don't have luck the first night, we can rebook for the following nights.

Philadelphia...
posts: 3
reviews: 5
8. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Would recommend you wait and see while there, but the tour is a good option if you can rebook. We just got back and saw NLs on our last night in Reykjavik. If we had relied only on the weather forecast we wouldn't have gone out to look. The day had been filled with snow showers and mostly cloudy skies, with the night's forecast looking to be pretty much the same. Instead we decided to give it a shot late at night since there appeared to be some clearing in the sky and took a stroll down the Shore Walk past the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum. There was a lone picnic bench that provided us with an open view of the harbour with limited light pollution. Despite the cloudy skies, luck landed on our side and the lights showed up during a clear break in the clouds, albeit briefly and somewhat faint - but more than we expected being in the city.

Also, would recommend not to use the US weather.com - instead follow the text forecast on vedur.is

Good luck and have a great trip

East Sussex
posts: 13
reviews: 54
9. Re: Rainy/cloudy weather and Northern Lights this month

Yes you do need some clear skies to see them . We were very lucky and saw them on the only day possible last week (Tues 4th March). We went with a boat tour out into the bay (less light pollution) It was very cold and windy but we did see the greenish light. We had an excellent guide who explained what to look for and which direction. Not as brilliant as might be because of intermittent cloud and then it started to snow but it was a great experience. I recommend the boat tour. It won't go if the weather is not suitable so you won't waste your money.

Good luck!

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