When fully qualified and dauntingly clever people such as Jyrki Manninen, Deputy Director of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory in Finnish Lapland comment on the prospects for the new Aurora season, our ears prick up and we listen.
An article in the Finnish press on 31 August 2021 asked Manninen for his expert opinion on one of, if not the most, asked questions regarding the Aurora Borealis.
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
Autumnal Colour during Daylight Hours
It is jokingly said that autumn in Finnish Lapland starts at 9 am on the 9th day of the 9th month and lasts for exactly three weeks. Clearly, this isn’t an exact science and with the climate seemingly changing on an almost daily basis, those dates should not be taken as fact.
What is certain is that if you time your trip to Lapland well then you can expect all the wonderful colours we associate with autumn during the day and dancing celestial lights once darkness falls.
Much of Finnish Lapland is covered by forests and fells and in autumn the landscapes are bathed in burnished shades of orange, gold, brown, ochre and myriad others. Indeed, the colours closely match those of the traditional dress worn by the indigenous Sami people.
In just a few weeks, the 24 hours of daylight from the Midnight Sun will begin to dissipate and the northern skies will grow darker as autumn approaches.
The Midnight Sun is something to behold but it doesn’t half frustrate Aurora hunters in the Nordic countries because constant daylight renders the Northern Lights invisible. The lights are there, the displays are happening but unfortunately, they are invisible to the human eye.
All changes in mid to late-August as the days grow shorter and the nights become darker. There’s always excitement in Aurora hunting circles as to where the first displays of the new season will appear and, who will capture the phenomenon.
Whoever does see them first will have to be up pretty late at night because in late August there remains a large amount of residual light even after sunset. It is only in September when true darkness prevails and the Aurora presents itself in its full glory.
If you are seeking a peaceful holiday to unwind, don't just go off-the-beaten-track, travel out of season to uncover one of the best-kept secrets of Northern Lights hunting; autumn! Autumn is one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights, however, it is often overlooked in favour of the snowy winter months.
Next autumn, you have to go north
In many destinations, autumn can often pass by in a blur, somewhere between a desperate cling to summer and dreading the incoming dark and cold nights of winter. In the Arctic, however, it is a season worth celebrating. Autumn here is a landscape bathed in colour, the natural world transforming before your eyes and quite frankly, one of the best places in the world to really experience the spectacular season of change.
Autumn in the Arctic is nature like you’ve never seen it before. It is more than the trees shaking off their summer coats - it is a landscape full of life, gracefully preparing for the oncoming winter. The summer bloom turns into deep and vibrant autumnal shades and just above the breathtaking landscape, you’ll find the Auroras making their sensational return to the skies.
So, take a deep breath of some of the cleanest air in the world, listen to only the sounds of nature and come with us to explore the colourful ground of Arctic Europe in autumn...
If you have kept track of any of our previous blogs, you will probably be aware that here at The Aurora Zone we love autumn! Despite your reservations, there is a very good reason for the fact we regularly try to convince anyone that will listen that autumn is an excellent time to visit the Arctic Circle – namely the Northern Lights viewing potential!
Here at The Aurora Zone, we absolutely love seeing our clients’ images from their Northern Lights adventures with us. Whether they are searching for the Aurora on the back of a snowmobile, trying their hand at mushing on a dog sledding safari or simply taking in the stunning Arctic scenery, we couldn’t be happier than when we see our clients ticking off some incredible experiences from their bucket lists!
Lapland’s winter wonderland reputation is so ingrained in our minds that it can be easy to forget that this location goes through all four wonderful seasons!
One in particular that excites us here at the Aurora Zone is autumn. That’s because this time of year marks the spectacular return of the Northern Lights – but that’s not all this season has to offer.
If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll know that we’ve been banging on about Coronal Holes and Equinox Cracks for months now, hopefully with good reason.
If you are seeking a peaceful holiday to unwind, don't just go off-the-beaten-track, travel out of season to uncover one of the best-kept secrets of Northern Lights hunting; autumn in Finnish Lapland.
Experience an autumn break in the heart of Lapland where the landscape is ablaze with a kaleidoscope of earthy hues, inky Arctic skies are bursting with celestial ripples of dancing light and daytime hours provide exquisite opportunities. See below for the experiences you could enjoy this autumn in Finnish Lapland.
We are blue in the face from telling anybody who will listen that autumn is an excellent time to search for the Aurora Borealis. Scientific research and findings from various esteemed Solar Physicists repeatedly point to increased geomagnetic activity (and hence, Auroral displays) in the weeks around the autumn and spring equinoxes.
The big question therefore, is; has this new aurora hunting season started well?
Here at The Aurora Zone, there is nothing we want more than for our clients to have the best possible chance of witnessing the Northern Lights. One of the ways we try to optimise your chances is by learning all we can about the underlying science which causes Auroral displays (you can find out more about this on our website under ‘The Science of the Northern Lights’).
The Northern Lights season may be at a close as summer draws nearer, but fear not the Auroras will not be gone forever. In fact, here at The Aurora Zone, we think that the beginning of the Northern Lights season in autumn is a pretty special time of year and arguably one of the best times to go on an Aurora hunting adventure.
Another Aurora hunting season is drawing to a close in Northern Scandinavia. The Northern Lights will still be visible well into April but, during the 24-hour daylight of summer’s Midnight Sun, all an Aurora hunter can do is catch up on lost sleep and long for the darker nights of autumn.
Given the nature of my work I regularly travel to the destinations featured here at The Aurora Zone and, as a result, I get to know the countries very well and also its inhabitants. I most frequently visit Northern Scandinavia and whenever I meet a Finn, a Swede or a Norwegian for the first time I always ask the same question:
“Where is your cabin?”
Almost without exception, Scandinavians own a cabin, a cabin with no running water, no electricity but a cabin which almost invariably enjoys an enviable lakeside position. These cabins are where the good people of Finland, Sweden and Norway escape to immerse themselves in nature, to relax and to just generally have a pretty laid back time.
A few years ago, one of our Finnish suppliers invited me to come over and spend a few days at his remote lakeside cabin. He could get some time away from work in late-October and simply wanted to enjoy some downtime before the busy winter months.
It’s that time of year again, when the Northern Lights have begun to make an appearance across the Arctic sky. If these spectacular displays are anything to go by it looks like we are in for a real treat this Aurora season.
These images were taken only two nights ago (21st August) in Harriniva by Northern Lights guide and photographer Antti Pietikäinen. This certainly makes us very excited as our first autumn Northern Lights holiday departures are only weeks away!
Go in search of the Aurora Borealis! To see our selection of autumn Northern Lights holidays click here - but be quick as we have limited spaces left!
I love my job because it takes me to my favourite part of the world, Northern Scandinavia on a regular basis.
I’ve been to Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland on numerous occasions and at many different times of year.
I love the autumn colours and the mind-fuddling 24 hour daylight midnight sun of the summer months. I love the heart of winter when the days are short and the grey/blue light of the Polar nights predominates. I love early January when the sun reappears above the horizon and bathes the snowy white landscapes in a pink glow.
Most of all however, I love early spring and whilst I travel to Scandinavia on business at any time of year, I always holiday there in middle to late March.