Yellowknife is expected to have clear skies on Saturday night and a geomagnetic storm may emerge overhead, creating what could be perfect aurora-viewing conditions.
Active aurora are forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights according to Astronomy North, with a 75-percent chance of active skies overnight on both Friday and Saturday.
While federal forecasters expect snow and cloud overnight in Yellowknife on Friday, Saturday night’s forecast is clear as of 3pm on Friday. There’s a 20-percent chance of aurora earlier in the evening on Saturday, too.
Most other areas of the NWT are set for cloudy night skies this weekend, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
A minor geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, US space agency Nasa’s space weather prediction centre stated on its website.
Astronomy North is taking advantage of Saturday’s forecast to host its first-ever “auroraside chat” via Zoom at 7:30pm that evening.
Dr David Knudsen, an aurora researcher at the University of Calgary, will present on the new solar cycle and the timing of the next solar maximum – the point at which solar activity reaches its peak, generating more intense aurora for longer periods of time.
That point is expected to be three to five years away.