What is the best month to see the Northern Lights 2020
Planning your Northern Lights trip and want to get the best advice.
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 background sky becomes so light.
During winter, you have an equal chance of seeing the Northern lights, 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. 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. Later in the season, the light is longer, allowing for more fun outside in the snow.
During the winter 2019 - 2020, the expectation for Northern Lights viewing is 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.
Read more about where to see the Northern lights here.