Planning your aurora chase
1 Check the KP index
Geomagnetic activity can be predicted – to an extent – by checking the KP index on a site such as www.spaceweatherlive.com. The KP index defines aurora activity on a scale of 0 to 9, with anything above KP5 being classified as a geomagnetic storm. Unless it’s at KP2 or more you’re unlikely to see anything.
2 Watch the weather
The skies need to be at least partially cloud-free. If there’s blanket cloud, rain or snow then there’s little chance of seeing anything. So check the local cloud maps. It’s more likely you’ll see it in the northern portion of the sky, often as a band along the horizon. So scout out a clear, interesting view in that direction.