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Timing of Northern lights

Level Contributor
16 posts
Timing of Northern lights

Hello All,

Read that between mid Sept to late March, chances of seeing northern lights is good. The forecast site does not show much beyond the current month. Has anyone visited during Oct, Nov period and had good chances to catch the glimpse?



4 replies to this topic
Cologne, Germany
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
12,980 posts
96 reviews
1. Re: Timing of Northern lights

It's down to luck and the forecast is worthless more than 24-48 hours ahead of time.

You need a combination of clear or at least partly clear skies, darkness and solar wind activity.

The best thing is to come for a longer period of time, be patient and persistent and be ready to try every night as long as the cloud cover forecast looks good.

Guided tours give you a better chance, since the guides know where to go for clear skies, know good viewpoints, can safely drive in Icelandic winter conditions in darkness and will share information on if and where the lights are showing up.

That said, plan your visit around the sights and activities that interest you most, not the Northern Lights, since there is no guarantee that you will see them.

Level Contributor
10,546 posts
81 reviews
2. Re: Timing of Northern lights

If you see the NL- then great but if you don't then enjoy the wonderful sites of Iceland. Manage your expectations to avoid disappointment.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
13,995 posts
60 reviews
3. Re: Timing of Northern lights

I've been here during October and November for decades, so yes, I think you could say that I've got some experience with them.

Optimal timing during the night would be between 10 PM to 2 AM more or less.

PS: the aurora season is from September to mid April.

Edited: 9:42 am, July 17, 2018
San Francisco
Level Contributor
66 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Timing of Northern lights

One you get to Iceland you can use this site to help guide you: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/

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