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First of all, a lot of websites show that Feb, Mar, and Sep, Oct are the best aurora observing months.

As I browse some aurora prediction websites, they only show Kp level 3-4 in Sep and Oct, and the weathers are usually cloudy all the month.

Can we see aurora under this kind of situation? What are the killing factors to see the aurora, weather, Kp value, or the moon phase? Can any website provide a reasonable visibility prediction that includes all these factors?

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Checking "Frommer's Alaska 2004 by Charles Wohlforth", Wiley Publishing Inc, ISBN 0-7645-3891-8, we find the following paragraph...

The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks maintains a fascinating and cool site filled with real-time earth science information about Alaska, such as aurora predictions, volcano watches, earthquake and tsunami updates, rocketry, and space science.

(emphasis mine)

Going to the site, at Aurora Forecast, you can find the answers to almost everything related to seeing the aurora, including a graphic showing the forecast for today...

enter image description here

Auroral activity will be moderate. Weather permitting, moderate displays will be visible overhead from Barrow to as far south as Talkeetna and visible low on the horizon as far south as Bethel, Soldotna and southeast Alaska.

Source: Aurora Forecast, University of Alaska Fairbanks, fair use

Looking further into Frommer's, there's a first person narrative entitled "Seeing the Aurora Borealis" which gives an informative account of the author's experience.

My copy of Frommer's is the 2004 version, you can locate the 2015 version here. Checking Amazon, I see used paperback copies starting at GBP 1.

Summary: The site uses a computer model that appears to take all of your parameters into consideration. And so it seems that the book coupled with the university site will have all of the information you need to successfully view the aurora in Alaska (or any place else where it's visible).

  • Does this site really take the weather into consideration? It seems if there are too many clouds, the visibility could be very slim. – WindChaser Oct 4 '15 at 21:37

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