Heavy snow flurries swirled in the sky out our living room window before turning to rain pounding against the corrugated steel siding of our home in winds gusting 50km/h not a half hour later. The highways were covered in fresh snow. The car being hounded by the wind as we drove. The clouds blew in and out faster than we could ever outrun them. And the temperature just hovered around zero. This is everything I love so much about Iceland, and tonight it was everything I loved so much about a fairly stressful few hours.
Clear skies and just -7° meant you didn’t have to go inside and miss a moment of this.
From the drive out of town until we returned hours later, the aurora didn’t rest a moment tonight.
Another night of balmy March weather, and another night that somehow ended up pleasantly surprising us all.
Very small clear breaks revealed some gentle arcs of aurora, including a few short moments of her brightening enough to make us say wow. Better than we had anticipated, for sure.
Look as you like into the most frequent but still outdated satellite images, untrustworthy cloud prediction maps, and as skeptical as ever changing forecasts will make you through the week, there has to be some blind trust in this. What other choice do we have.
So we think we’ve got it figured out, but travelling under cloud for dozens of kilometres leaving Yellowknife, there’s always that doubt in the back of your mind about this. But then the cloud bank just ends over a few kilometres and you’re in the clear. Literally in the clear. And the aurora is there waiting.
There’s no better feeling.
And in the first photo, can we just take a moment to appreciate the aircraft flying just to the right of the aurora leaving a curved vapour trail behind it? I think that’s pretty awesome.
A clear sky chase of 100+ kilometres yielded clear skies for some perfect, perfect moments.
I love these nights. I love them more than sharks love blood.
Windows are all we ask for on nights of challenging weather. Tonight we had two.
Early in the night, a small clear break sustained itself just long enough for an early dance with the lady above our heads. Then some time later, a clear sky chase took us further west into another opening but very, very quiet auroral conditions persisted.
The last two nights have felt more like two weeks. Clouds. Kilometres. A lot of kilometres. Such quiet auroral conditions.
Then there was tonight. Hours seemed to pass in only a few minutes, and all of a sudden checking the back of my camera it was 2:00a. How does that even happen. Clear skies, no moonlight, and much changed auroral conditions, apparently.
Despite some sort of cloud factory blowing up a never ending stream of cloud from the southwest tonight, we managed to drive a very fine line keeping at the edge of this until eventually, hours in, lady aurora came to dance. And it was one of those nights she just wasn’t going to stop.
She was fleeting in nature tonight, never staying for too long. But without a cloud in the sky, the supermoon and favourite star constellations were easy enjoyment.
With the lakes off limits, it’s back to the struggle of finding suitable driveways or pullouts off the main highway to stop into, except we’re also now competing with sheets of ice and snow banks still a metre high blocking off driveways that are options in September.
As some weather quickly passed tonight, the aurora stayed consistently beautiful and active, and even with this full moon and streaks of cloud trying to pass as the aurora, pinks and greens, and a lot of dancing was enjoyed to the naked eye.