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New Northern Lights alert for England on Saturday 18 May

New Northern Lights alert for England on Saturday 18 May
New Northern Lights alert for England on Saturday 18 May

Londoners have been eagerly awaiting the return of the Northern Lights after catching a glimpse of the spectacle last week and a warning has now been issued for today, May 18. The Met Office has also laid out the best weather conditions for seeing the Northern Lights in the night sky and there’s also a handy way to stay up to date on when they’ll be visible via notifications on your phone.

According to the Met Office, the best conditions to see the Aurora Borealis are when the sky is dark and clear, as clouds block the light. It’s best to be as far away from light pollution as possible, in a remote area and with a view of the northern horizon – and while this is tricky to achieve in the capital, it’s still possible to see the lights above the city.

The light is also best seen further north, for example in Scotland, northern England, north Wales and Northern Ireland. However, there is a chance that you can see it in London because of the solar flare.

READ MORE: What the Northern Lights Are and What Causes Them

A red alert is forecast for later today (May 18), when the Northern Lights will be at their most visible -Source: AuroraWatchUK

According to the Met Office: “The best conditions to see the Northern Lights are when the sky is dark and there is no cloud. Cloud cover will eventually block the view of the lights. Ideally, the lights are best seen when there is no light pollution, in remote areas, facing the northern horizon – northern coasts offer some of the best viewing locations. The Northern Lights are most active during the equinox and solstice in March/April and September/October.”

Chance of Northern Lights on Saturday May 18

AuroraWatchUK has issued a warning this morning for minor geomagnetic activity, meaning the Northern Lights could be visible in parts of the UK.

They said: “The Northern Lights are visible to the naked eye from Scotland and with a camera from Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.”

Although London has not yet been mentioned, there was a red alert for the chance of seeing the Northern Lights in England last night. Although it is still early in the day, there is a chance that another alert will be issued later or that there is still time to catch a train.

Is the weather good to spot the Northern Lights tonight?

According to the Met Office, there will be a clear spell tonight, but there is a chance of fog. They have forecast: “Heavy showers and thunderstorms gradually clearing later this evening, replaced by drier conditions and some clear spells. Low cloud and fog may advance inland around the Thames Estuary. Minimum temperature 10°C.”

The fog may cause visibility problems tonight as the Northern Lights return, but hopefully the sky will clear enough for your phone camera to capture the spectacle.

The Northern Lights are coming this far south because of the most powerful solar storm in two decades -Credit: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

How to get notifications on your phone so you don’t miss the Northern Lights

AuroraWatch UK is a free service that provides alerts about when the Northern Lights are likely to be visible from the UK. It is run by scientists in the Space and Planetary Physics group at Lancaster University’s Department of Physics.

You can find it in your phone’s App Store, called AuroraWatch UK Aurora Alerts. If you download it, you will receive a message on your phone when there is activity that is likely to lead to the Northern Lights. On Saturday, a red alert was sent out, which you can see in the image above.

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