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.
Right now, the aurora is predicted to be: Kp 2.67
In 0 hour and 9 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 2.67
In 0 hour and 23 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 3.00
In 0 hour and 39 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 2.67
System status: All Good
While all the other forecasts are using satellite and scientific data. The Daily aurora forecast is predicted at 5pm Finnish time (2pm Universal Time) by a person. (The computer models and predictions are great, but using real life experience and pattern recognition is something they can’t do).
- 19 April
Tonight’s estimated aurora level:
Level 3 – Medium
Auroral activity should be at medium levels. Weather permitting, aurora displays may be visible overhead or on the horizon in Mosjøen (Norway), Oulu (Finland), Luleå (Sweden) and Reykjavík (Iceland).
Solar wind is elevated today, but at the time of writing, the bz component isn’t great. It could easily change, but as it stands we’re probably looking at kp3 levels tonight. But keep an eye on the bz, if it continues to drop (and for a sustained spell) the situation could easily improve.
3 Day Forecast
Courtesy of NOAA.
- 19-21 April
WSA-Enlil model output and manual prognosis suggest the back-to-back arrivals of the CMEs from the 16th and 18th on day two (20 Apr) of the forecast. Consequently, the geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to active on day one (19 Apr) with the passage of two weak CMEs from 15 and 16 Apr embedded in the ambient solar wind. Early on 20 Apr, the arrival of another CME from 16 Apr is expected to bring active to minor (G1) storm conditions before being reinforced by the midday arrival of the CME from 18 Apr. The second impact will prolong minor storm conditions and introduce a chance for major (G2) storm levels. Minor (G1) storm conditions are expected to persist into the early hours of day three (21 Apr) before diminishing to active or unsettled levels.
Predicted kp numbers for the next 3 days:
Time now in UTC (Universal Time) is: 17:09 19/04/14
Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21
00-03UT 4 3 5 (G1)
03-06UT 4 5 (G1) 4
06-09UT 3 4 3
09-12UT 3 3 3
12-15UT 2 2 2
15-18UT 2 5 (G1) 2
18-21UT 4 4 3
21-00UT 4 4 4 ..
Rationale: The geomagnetic field is expected to be enhanced on day one (19 Apr) with the passage of two weak CMEs from 15 and 16 Apr embedded in the ambient solar wind, but remain below G1 - Minor levels. Early on
Why do we use UTC?
UTC (Universal Time) is used in science, weather, aviation, military and many other fields. It eliminates confusion with multiple time zones and daylight saving. For more information on UTC click here
Solar Wind Gauges
These gauges are our own system, they are updated every 60 seconds directly from Nasa’s ACE spacecraft data. The data you see here is what the ACE spacecraft monitored only moments ago. These 3 components are the most important components of the solar wind (when it comes to Aurora Borealis). Note the Bz gauge works backwards. You can view all the components of the solar wind on our other solar wind tool here.
Gauges are updated every minute live (without the need for page refresh).
How to interpret the gauge activity
SWPC Solar Wind Dials
Real time solar wind tool (*NEW*)
click to launch
Aurora Ovation Oval
(short term prediction)
NOAA CME Prediction Forecast (*NEW*)
click to launch
NASA CME Prediction Forecast (*NEW*)
click to launch
ACE Real Time Solar Wind MAG & SWEPAM data
ACE Real Time Solar Wind EPAM (Low Energy Electrons & Protons) data
Magnetometer located in Dombås, Norway 62°N
What Kp strength do you need to view Northern Lights where you are?
The Northern Lights are most often seen in the Lapland regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway along with Iceland and Greenland. But during high activity, auroras are often visible from much lower latitudes, often including Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Estonia and more. This table allows you to see what Kp level is typically required see aurora borealis where you are in the event of high geomagnetic activity.