Featured image: The aurora borealis brightens the night sky near Fairbanks, Alaska (photo by Amy Johnson Photography, courtesy Explore Fairbanks)
Fairbanks, Alaska, is a popular place to chase the northern lights from August through April because of its position under the Auroral Oval, a band under the North and South Poles where aurora activity is concentrated. Now, you can check the aurora forecasts and number of daylight hours with new aurora and midnight sun trackers on the Explore Fairbanks website.
To access the trackers, go to the Explore Fairbanks home page and click or tap the Aurora and Midnight Sun Tracker button. Each tracker is in a separate tab.
The Aurora Tracker shows real-time and three-day forecasts of northern lights data correlated to six locations: Fairbanks, North Pole, Cleary Summit, Murphy Dome, Chena State Recreation Area, and Coldfoot. This tracker combines the following data streams to help northern lights chasers find locations with the most activity up to three days in advance:
- Real-time aurora forecasts from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the world’s leading aurora borealis research institute
- Real-time weather forecasts from weather stations in each location
- Total daylight hours each day
A sample current-day northern lights forecast for Fairbanks, Alaska, from the Aurora Tracker on the Explore Fairbanks website. To change the location, click or tap the name of the location you want to view in the weather forecast row. Click or tap the For More Info and 3-Day Forecast button to see the three-day forecast for the location you selected. The three-day forecast displays below the button.
A sample three-day northern lights viewing forecast for Fairbanks, Alaska, from the Aurora Tracker
The Midnight Sun Tracker calculates the number of daylight hours in Fairbanks, Coldfoot, and Utqiaġvik (formerly named Barrow) at different times of the year. To change the location, click or tap the city of your choice in the weather forecast row.
The Midnight Sun Tracker on the Explore Fairbanks website
You can change the date on the Midnight Sun Tracker by clicking or tapping on the date field and selecting another day from the pop-up calendar.
Selecting a date on the Midnight Sun Tracker
These trackers are compatible in all smartphone, tablet, and laptop browsers.
For more information about northern lights viewing and other activities in Fairbanks and the surrounding area, visit the Explore Fairbanks website.