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Northern Lights in Winter

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November and December

While December gets less daylight, it is often said that early-November is the darkest time of year because there is generally less snow cover to reflect the light. November isn't always the prettiest time of year in the north but the combination of darkness and the proximity to the autumnal equinox mean that the Aurora can very often be seen at their best.

Late November and December bring the big freeze and heavy snowfall which creates the sort of Narnia-like landscapes that you only ever see on Christmas cards. Of course, snow clouds can obscure the Northern Lights but the extended darkness enhances your chances of seeing the Aurora – remember, you can't see them during daylight hours.

The snow usually lies crisp and deep and reasonably even from mid-November onwards which is ideal for all the exciting winter activities and also enhances the Northern Lights chasing options – evening snowmobile safari anybody?

For a few weeks in December, the sun doesn't appear above the horizon and this brings a remarkable phenomenon which the locals call "Blue Time". From about 10 am until 2 pm, the land is enveloped in a grey/blue light that is neither day nor night and could be described as being almost ethereal.

It is notoriously difficult to predict when the first heavy snows of winter will arrive so in early November it is very difficult to determine exactly which activities will be available. November and December bring colder weather and shorter days although it is often said that cold nights yield more Northern Lights as do longer hours of darkness so perhaps we should count these things as a blessing.

January and February

In early January most places in the Aurora Zone welcome back the sun that bathes the landscape in a pinkish glow, a remarkable sight to behold. Temperatures in January can be very cold, especially at night when you are searching for the Aurora, but we’ll make sure you are well wrapped up and, it is an oft-held belief that January's colder weather brings more Auroral displays so it's worth braving those sub-zero temperatures.

February often brings slightly warmer temperatures and a lot of accumulated snow which lies very deep and creates the perfect winter playground. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights are good during either of the two months and getting away to a drier and frankly more pristine environment is a great post-New Year tonic.

January is a great time to travel if you want to avoid other tourists as it is not considered to be the peak winter month. As a result, prices are often lower but all the activities including Aurora hunting will be in full swing.

February in the UK is depressing, dark, wet, windy and cold. Contrast that with the Arctic where it will still be very cold but instead of rain, the precipitation falls as fresh, dry snow. February is probably the most popular time to travel into the Auroral Zone as it is the perfect time to combine daytime activities with evening hunts for the Northern Lights.


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The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

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