Alaska’s northern lights season is between mid – September and late April , peaking in March , though it’s a season defined more by its long, dark nights than by solar activity. Forecasting the northern lights means predicting solar activity, which is virtually impossible with our current technology.
The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year, although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The best time to see the lights is between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies.
Yes, you can see the northern lights , also known as the aurora borealis , from Anchorage – but not in the summer. The aurora actually occurs all year long, but the sky needs to be clear and dark to see it. Views are best from September to April. Winter is the prime viewing time.
Summer (June to July ) Alaska is located so far north that your chances of seeing the northern lights in the summer months are basically zero. If your main goal in visiting Alaska is to see the aurora, be sure to plan your trip several months before or after June 21st (the summer solstice) each year.
When is the best month to visit Alaska? You can’t go wrong visiting Alaska anytime between May 10 and September 15. The days are long, nature is in full bloom, and the air is alive with energy. But, for the absolute best time to visit Alaska, shoot for June 15 to July 15.
Coldfoot, a town in Alaska’s Brooks Range mountains, offers the best chance of witnessing the Alaska Northern Lights . With a slightly longer season than Iceland , stretching from mid-September through late April, Alaska is a great no-passport-required option for U.S. residents.
During the winter of 2020 , the Northern Lights viewing was typical for a solar minimum year . But from 2020 onwards, there will be a slow ramp-up in solar activity, and auroras should increase in frequency, peaking in 2024/2025 with the Solar Maximum. Read more about where to see the Northern lights here.
When is the best time to see the northern lights ? Fairbanks’ Aurora Season is from August 21 to April 21 and the aurora will be visible in Fairbanks an average of four out of five nights when the sky is clear and dark enough.
city of Fairbanks
Using real-time solar wind data from Nasa’s ACE spacecraft, matched with data obtained from a network of magnetometers located worldwide, we are able to forecast , with reasonable accuracy, how the Northern Lights will behave up to one hour in advance. The image shows estimated aurora activity now.
But here’s the good news: The time is right to get a glimpse of the aurora borealis . Thanks to longer hours of darkness and clear night skies, December through March is usually the best time to observe this elusive natural phenomenon (though you can sometimes see the northern lights starting as early as August ).
As the 49th State, U.S. residents don’t need a passport to go to Alaska , but as of October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID. REAL ID compliant identification includes a state-issued REAL ID, U.S. Passport , military ID, or other form of compliant ID.
July is a choice time to visit Alaska , with wildlife fully active, all trails accessible, long days and Alaska’s warmest average temperatures. This translates into a busy time for The Great Land, with a swell of visitors. Small ships avoid the crowds during this busy time for The Great Land.
In Anchorage, all days between June 8 and July 5 have 24 hours of daylight or civil twilight. Fairbanks has more than 70 days with 24 hours of daylight or civil twilight.
Alaska’s Interior Rain is less likely during a visit in July and August so waterproof outer wear may not be necessary. A light jacket, scarf or sweater for the evenings is advisable. Pack short-sleeved shirts and shorts for daytime and long-sleeved shirts and pants for later in the day.