Posts tagged December
All About That Chase

It was the last night for all my guests. Some had more success than others in the nights leading up to their last. We knew it was going to be a gamble, and we knew it was going to be a late night with long drives.
Of course arriving 115km from Yellowknife into mostly clear skies after driving through overcast cloud and blizzards of ice crystals felt most triumphant, but we know this is only half the story. Checking the space weather all but completed the other half. It was just a matter of time, and for dramatics of course, the aurora waited, and teased, and waited a little longer until it was almost make or break time for us to get going back to town to meet the early morning flight departures. But we got her, and she was absolutely spectacular.

The biggest problem at the ends of nights like these is coming down from a natural high quick enough to sleep before sunrise. Obviously it helps sunrise is still 10am.

Sean NormanDecember
The Gentle Fade Out

In the end wake of a high speed wind stream, we were ever hopeful to still witness some of these disturbances in the magnetic field. And although not as immediately spectacular as the last few nights, we kept clear skies (we had better since it was still -36) and while we mostly saw very pale greens, she still danced beautifully above our heads.

Sean NormanDecember
Patience, Patience, Patience

You’re tired of hearing me preach it, but after a few hours of the same words over and over, you understood why. And all those pinks, all the breathtaking dancing every direction you looked - it’s why we voluntarily spend hours running between the openness of a frozen lake and the warmth, relative warmth, of the idling car.

Sean NormanDecember
The Good Kind of Messy

It wasn’t a ‘neat’ night. The aurora wasn’t so perfect in it’s break-ups, not like the night before. Tonight she just kind of twisted, swirled and painted the entire sky with pink and faint green.

Sean NormanDecember
Frozen Fingers, Tingly Toes, and A Sight for Sore Eyes

It was the most spectacular of nights. The exact kind of night I wish more than anything for every visitor to Yellowknife to leave having experienced. For hours you could have written this one off as hopeless, underwhelming, and quiet to say the least or to say it politely. But if were following a little space weather data, you know this was coming and it was just a matter of time. Minutes or hours, but it was coming.

In the meantime, the sky faded from pitch black to the most gorgeous moonrise and just as the moon was coming through the trees, the entire sky exploded with the temperature just a degree or two above -40.

Sean NormanDecember
It's Everything You Ever Want

If -37° is the only way to get clear skies around here, then let’s go. On a night with a 75% full moon, we saw greens and pinks, and she danced across the northern half of the sky. It’s so good to be back.

Sean NormanDecember
A Christmas Miracle!

For the second time in three nights, clear skies at the end of the highway gradually disappeared over a few hours, but tonight it was not without the most aurora we've seen in easily a week first. 

Sean NormanDecember
The Weather Chase

Information from two satellites gave us opposite wishes of speed. These perfect auroral conditions couldn’t actualize into the sky above us fast enough, and while we waited on the aurora, we ran further and further from a slow moving cloud bank eating up the city. A definite success overall this time.

Sean NormanDecember
Comfort for Crazies

Put all eight of us last night into the crazy category.
Some of us having experienced the -30 of a few nights ago, others with the expectation that -18 should feel a lot worse than this, and one who should be used to all this. It wasn’t bad. And it probably helped to have the aurora dance for a couple hours. It’s never so cold when she’s dancing up there is it.

Sean NormanDecember
A Humble 60° Difference

From the bathtub temperature water and beach massage tables of a +30°C Ixtapa, Mexico to probably the coldest night of the year so far in Yellowknife. What a nice first night back to work. It was… refreshing. I’ll get used to it again, right? But how will anyone see my tan under my 4 base layers, woolen socks, parkas and balaclavas?

Sean NormanDecember