You may be wondering when the best time is to see the Northern Lights and if the Aurora Borealis is visible in Autumn. You don’t want to travel some distance to view them and be left disappointed. The truth is, the appearance of the Northern Lights is extremely hard to predict further than a couple of hours out! They can occur all year round, but the lighter months during the summer make it a lot harder to see them with the naked eye, and impossible if viewing from northern Scandinavia where daylight lasts for 24 hours a day.
Winter brings dark skies, shorter days and a better chance of seeing nature’s spectacular show, however it is bitterly cold so it may not suit everybody. Of course, there are also lots of really fun activities to do during the winter months which offer a packed itinerary for travelers, but for me, seeing the Northern Lights in the Autumn offers a fantastic option, despite often being overlooked.
Why Autumn Is A Great Time To See The Northern Lights.
It’s possible to see the Northern Lights in August, but it’s far more likely after the September equinox on the 21st, as long as solar activity is present. I’m not going to pretend I fully understand the scientific requirements, but they are based on geomagnetic activity which are higher around equinoxes, making late September a brilliant time to visit.
Autumn in Scandinavia is quieter, because most people will be visiting in the winter, so you’ll be able to enjoy the splendour of the majestic landscape without it being overcrowded.
The lakes and rivers are not yet frozen, which means the stunning light display of the Aurora Borealis is reflected off of them, double the beauty!
The warmth of the summer still slightly lingers in the air during Autumn, making standing in the middle of a field at night a far more pleasant experience. Personally, I am not good with the cold so it really helps that temperatures are closer to 10 degrees than they are minus 10! It’s also a huge bonus that there is less cloud coverage this time of the year because it would be so frustrating to go all that way and miss them because of too many clouds or snowstorms obscuring the view.
As much as there are lots of things to do in the winter, there is also a wealth of other activities on offer when visiting in Autumn, such as hiking, foraging, boat rides and fishing.
Photo opportunities are plentiful when visiting in Autumn, and not just of the Northern Lights. Even if you’re unlucky not to see them, nature does afford you its most colourful show. Crisp air swirls around as the rusted leaves are soaked in Autumn light, making the already beautiful views even more special.
Prices are lower during this pre-peak season, meaning you can visit for less but often come away having seen more.
Very close to the top of my bucket list is a Fjord cruise as well as a visit to see Father Christmas, I really hope that one day we can do these as a family to see the beautiful sites as well as experience this most incredible delight of nature. Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?
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