What is the best month to see the Northern Lights 2023
Planning your Northern Lights trip and want to get the best advice? As we approach another Solar maximum period, solar activity will start ramping up, and auroras should increase in frequency, peaking in 2024/2025.
You might associate the Northern Lights with wintertime, although in reality they are present the year round; it's just that you can't see them as well when the nights are light. The darker the background, the more magnificent the aurora lights will be.
In practice, in northern Norway, Iceland, Greenland & Finland, you need to plan your Northern Lights tour between the period starting at the beginning of September and extending until the middle of April. However, if the Northern Lights are strong enough, you may see them against a twilight sky, and it is not unusual to see them from Tromsø on an August evening.
The aurora lies well above the highest clouds, so you need clear skies to be able to see it. In fact, cloudy skies are the greatest obstacle for auroral observations in northern Norway & Finland. When we plan your trip, we try to allow 4 - 5 days to maximise your chances and give time for storms or clouds to pass. The days around the full moon are also not as conducive to viewing the Northern Light because the sky may become too bright.
You have an equal chance of seeing the Northern lights any month during the winter, it is just that some months are more 'visitor friendly'. During the darker months (November, December and January), you often only have a blue twilight and usually only one active adventure during the day fits in. Late January, February and March offer longer daylight hours, thus more pleasant for venturing out for winter adventures such as snow mobile riding and dogsledding. The day-light lasts longer later in the season, allowing for more outdoor fun in the snow. Having said this, regardless of the daylight hours, we recommend also including a Northern Lights evening adventure during your stay - this can be as comfortable as putting on warm outfits and walking to viewing area with a warm fire and hot chocolates or an evening Northern Lights Chase by car.
If you are keen to search for the lights but don't want it too cold or with lots of snow, you can visit in autumn as well. Activities ranging from bike riding, hiking and watching for the Northern Lights by the lakes with openfire BBQs. You can go out on the lakes for Northern Lights viewing and many people enjoy this time of year.
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. A Solar maximum or solar max is a regular period of greatest Sun activity during the 11-year solar cycle. Understand more about when to see the Northern Lights and the affect of sun activity in the solar cycle here.
Check out our range of unique Northern Lights tours here or clicking the image below.
Read more about where to see the Northern lights here.