Anchorage Northern Lights Forecast

Though Fairbanks is often assumed to be the only northern lights (aurora borealis) viewing location in Alaska, there are some distinct advantages to chasing the lights in and around Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska. This Anchorage northern lights forecast page is designed to provide you information to aid in your search for a northern lights experience during a visit in the Anchorage area. Join us on our Anchorage Aurora Quest – Anchorage Northern Lights Tour for a guided experience, showing you the best viewing locations and providing instruction on how to photograph this amazing phenomena.

Aurora and Weather Forecasts

3-Day Aurora Forecast

The aurora forecast is updated for January 31. Keep an eye out for our daily weather forecast update below and tour status as noted on the Anchorage Aurora Quest page. The Kp estimate is for the maximum level forecasted for the time between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. Alaska time. 

TUE JAN 31 – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1.67

WED FEB 1 – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1.33

THU FEB 2 – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1.33

Additional Information Affecting Aurora Viewing

Moon: The moon will be up all night, setting at 8:43 a.m. (Feb. 1) as a 86.14% waxing gibbous. The moon will interfere with viewing a quiet aurora.

Twilight: Astronomical twilight will end at 7:38 p.m. and resume at 6:47 a.m. (Feb. 1). Twilight will not impair aurora viewing.

Solar Winds: Weak enhancements in solar wind parameters are possible on 31 Jan – 01 Feb following a weak disturbance in the solar wind environment. Late on 02 Feb, a negative polarity Coronal Hole High Speed Stream (CH HSS) is likely to become geoeffective, further enhancing solar wind parameters.

Geomagnetic Field: The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet to unsettled on 31 Jan-01 Feb. By 02 Feb, activity is expected to increase to unsettled levels, with isolated active periods likely, as a negative polarity Coronal Hole High Speed Stream (CH HSS) moves into a geoeffective position.

Planetary K-Index provides an estimate as to how wide the auroral oval may extend. It does not indicate whether the aurora borealis will appear. The most important factors for aurora viewing are the solar winds and geomagnetic field – so note the information above on those. The Planetary K-Index is measured on a scale of 0-9. Anchorage is within the Kp3 zone (aurora visible overhead), but auroras are often seen here on the horizon as low as Kp1 (except for the early and late season, where a higher Kp is needed due to bright twilight). A fairly accurate Kp index can be determined up to 3-days in advance. For the Kp index indicated in the Anchorage northern lights forecast, that is the maximum Kp predicted during the prime aurora viewing time in the Anchorage area (generally between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.). We do not provide the Kp level for a forecast period outside of nominal viewing times (i.e., local daytime).

Current Aurora Ovation

Aurora Ovation

Hemispheric Power is a measure of auroral activity that helps determine how bright and active auroras might be. It measures the rate of deposition of charged particles (mainly electrons and protons) into the atmosphere, where they collide with upper atmosphere particles and eventually stop. This process transfers their kinetic energy to the upper atmosphere. The higher the number, the more charged particles are depositing in the upper atmosphere. It’s measured on a scale of 5-150 GW [Gigawatts]. A power level of 20 or more is usually adequate to produce auroras visible to the naked eye. Hemispheric Power fluctuates and is a short range forecast that can be determined only up to around 30-90 minutes in advance with relative accuracy.

Tonight's Weather Forecasts

The forecast is updated for the night of January 31.

Anchorage

A 20 percent chance of snow after 3am. Areas of freezing fog. Cloudy, with a low around 28. Calm wind. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 100% (4:00 a.m.).

Girdwood

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Estimated cloud cover is 98% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Butte/Knik River

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. East wind around 5 mph. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Palmer

Patchy freezing fog. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. East wind around 5 mph. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Sutton

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Chickaloon

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Glacier View

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Calm wind. Estimated cloud cover at Lion Head is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Wasilla

Patchy freezing fog. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).

Willow

Patchy freezing fog. Cloudy, with a low around 28. Calm wind. Estimated cloud cover is 99% (10:00 p.m.) to 100% (4:00 a.m.).

Talkeetna

Cloudy, with a low around 25. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Estimated cloud cover is 98% (10:00 p.m.) to 99% (4:00 a.m.).
Latest Satellite Infrared Image of Alaska Cloud Cover

Anchorage Aurora Season 2021-2022 Statistics

Late summer aurora borealis corona display over Anchorage.