Northern Lights in Tromsø
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromso? What things affect the visibility of the Northern Lights? Can we see them during the daytime?
These are some of the questions that we often receive from our guests and on this page we would like to try to answer these questions and give some more information on the Northern Lights.
Is Tromso the best place to see the Northern Lights in Norway?
Tromso is often referred to as Norway’s “Northern Lights Capital” due to its convenient location. Tromso is located right in the center of the Aurora Oval or the Auroral Zone. Therefore, the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights in Tromso is a lot higher than for example in southern parts of the country or even the nearby countries.
Photographer: Even Tryggstand
When can I see the Northern Lights in Tromso?
During the summer months, from April until about mid-September the Northern Lights can’t really be seen because of the midnight sun. During other months, from the end of September until the beginning of April, there is a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights.
Usually the evening and night time is the best for seeing the Northern Lights, from about 8pm in the evening. If you are very lucky, it is also possible for the Lady Aurora to make an appearance during the daytime as well, but the visibility is not quite as clear as during the night.
Which month is the best to see the Northern Lights in Tromso?
Unfortunately this is a tricky one to answer! The chance of spotting the Lights during the winter months is quite good every month, but the darker it is, the better are the chances of seeing them. It is, however, already quite dark in the evenings in Tromso from October, so it only means that in October you have a better chance later in the evening than for example in December.
What affects the visibility of the Northern Lights?
As mentioned above, during the summer months the midnight sun in a way prevents the Northern Lights from being seen. Hence it has to be dark enough so that they can be spotted clearly. In addition, the sky needs to be clear - it is possible to see the Northern Lights also on a cloudy night, but the visibility is just not as good as when there are no clouds.
In Tromso the weather can also sometimes change quite quickly, so even if the weather forecast doesn’t look promising, the Aurora might still appear during the course of the evening or night.
Photographer: Even Tryggstand
The Polar Night and Blue Hours in Tromso
The Polar Night starts in Tromso at the end of November and lasts for about 6 weeks until the beginning of January, when the days start to get longer and the sun rises again. This doesn’t however mean that it is completely dark during the Polar Night. There is some dusky light during the days, and in the evenings we might even have beautiful sunsets. Because there are more hours without much light, the Aurora is usually more clear to spot during the Polar Night. It doesn’t mean though that the likelihood of the Northern Lights’ appearance is higher during the Polar Night.
The blue hours refer to a kind of a purple-blueish daylight when the sun is below the horizon. The light is blue, because when the sun is far enough below the horizon, its blue wavelengths are the dominant ones.
The blue hour occurs in the afternoon at around 1-2pm, but the timing is a few minutes later every day than on the previous day. This is because the sun becomes stronger and stronger over the course of winter.
Purple shades of the blue hour. Photos by Ørjan Mathilllas.
Tours for spotting the Northern Lights
Our evening Tours:
During our evening tours, you have the chance of catching the Northern Lights while feeding the reindeer, taking a sledding ride and whilst enjoying a 3-course dinner.
Our partner companies' Northern LIghts tours:
Northern Lights Day Trip
✔ Exciting Northern Lights chase - to the coast, to inland Norway, or perhaps even deep into Finland
✔ Small groups (max 16 guests)
✔ All inclusive tour: warm expedition thermal suit, shoe cover for walking in snow, transportation, a warm expedition meal, hot drinks, head torch, water
✔ Pictures taken and sent to you
2 000 NOK