Day 101: clouds and shrouds

The weather forecasters of Veðurstofa Íslands, the Icelandic meteorological office, have their hands full.  Air masses at the edge of the Arctic Circle can be unstable and conditions change rapidly.  It’s a far cry from the last place I lived, where the forecasters could phone in the same report day after day (“sunny, dry, and hot”) and expect to be right 90% of the time.

Even though they’re busy keeping track of weather here on Earth, the folks at Veðurstofa Íslands also keep track of solar weather.  They issue daily forecasts on the probability of aurora activity, ranking on a scale from 0 (which pretty much means “not a chance, sorry, try again later”) to 9 (“OMG wow, willya lookit that!”).

Tonight was a 9.  But what nature giveth, she also taketh away – in this case, by shrouding the entire country in a layer of clouds.

Most of the time, you can’t see the aurora through the clouds — but I happened to be out away from the city when there was a little bit of a break in the cover.  That’s where I got this photo:

IMG_5627
Aurorae struggle with the clouds near Þingvellir National Park, Iceland. Image credit: author.

Iceland is really pretty, but sometimes it’s also really, really eerie.

2 thoughts on “Day 101: clouds and shrouds

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