Aurora Viewing in Southcentral Alaska

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 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 May 7. This is our last forecast for the season. We will resume our forecast on August 7, 2020. We hope you have enjoyed this season, and we wish you the best for this summer!

THU MAY 7 – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1

FRI MAY 8 – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1

SAT MAY 9  – Planetary K-Index [predicted]: Kp 1

Additional Information Affecting Aurora Viewing: The moon will rise at 11:09 p.m. as a 99% waning gibbous and set at 6:28 a.m. on May 8 as a 98.1% waning gibbous. A slow solar wind regime is anticipated to continue 07-09 May. The geomagnetic field is expected to remain primarily quiet 07-09 May.

Keep an eye out for our daily weather forecast update below and tour status as noted on the Anchorage Aurora Quest page.

Planetary K-Index indicates how far south in latitude on earth auroras might be seen. It is measured on a scale of 0-9, and indicates locations where the aurora borealis can be visible overhead. Anchorage is within the Kp3 zone, but auroras are often seen here on the horizon at Kp2 (except for the early and late season, where a higher Kp is needed.) 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 10:00 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 May 7. This is our last forecast for the aurora season. We will resume forecasts on August 7, 2020. 

Anchorage

Isolated showers between 11pm and 5am, then a slight chance of rain after 5am. Cloudy, with a low around 40. East wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Estimated cloud cover is from 67% (11:00 p.m.) to 56% (3:00 a.m.).

Girdwood

Rain likely, mainly after 5am. Cloudy, with a low around 39. East wind 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Estimated cloud cover is from 100% (11:00 p.m.) to 98% (3:00 a.m.).

Knik River Area

Scattered showers between 7pm and 4am, then a chance of rain after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. East wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Estimated cloud cover is from 92% (11:00 p.m.) to 99% (3:00 a.m.).

Palmer (includes Hatcher Pass)

Isolated showers between 7pm and 4am, then a slight chance of rain after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming east 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Estimated cloud cover is from 56% (11:00 p.m.) to 89% (3:00 a.m.).

Sutton

Isolated showers between 7pm and 4am, then a slight chance of rain after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Estimated cloud cover is from 56% (11:00 p.m.) to 91% (3:00 a.m.).

Glacier View-Eureka

Scattered showers, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Estimated cloud cover at Lion Head is from 78% (11:00 p.m.) to 86% (3:00 a.m.).

Wasilla

Isolated showers before 1am, then a slight chance of rain after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Estimated cloud cover is from 53% (11:00 p.m.) to 61% (3:00 a.m.).

Willow

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Estimated cloud cover is from 68% (11:00 p.m.) to 52% (3:00 a.m.).

Talkeetna

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Estimated cloud cover is from 77% (11:00 p.m.) to 60% (3:00 a.m.).