Best Places to See the Northern Lights
In the United States, Alaska is the best place to be for these types of events, specifically the Yukon Territory. The auroral oval formed to watch aurora borealis activity is centered on the north geomagnetic pole that passes over the state. In Canada, you can opt to take a trip down to Lake Superior in Ontario, which is a well-known prime viewing location to see the Northern Lights.
Abisko in the Swedish Lapland is another great spot for viewing an aurora, due to its distinctive climate from other areas. There are others, but as a general rule, look for areas near poles.
Best Months to See the Northern Lights
Around March and September are known to be the best months of the year to see the Northern Lights. During these periods, the orbit of the Earth is in a location where the solar activity is maximized. Furthermore, the skies are quite dark at this time, which is necessary to watch aurora borealis illuminations clearly. These two months, according to NASA astronomer Sten Odenwald, are the most likely to produce an aurora. Plus, temperatures are nice then.
Always plan your Northern Lights destinations around these months, since they will be your best bet to find one.
See the Northern Lights: Forecast
If you plan to see the Northern Lights you should know how to interpret the forecast. There are many sources that offer you details on when and where aurora activity will be taking place. The greener areas in the map screen will indicate that there is a good chance, weather permitting, for an aurora.
Each given day is usually outlined for you regardless of which source you check and where, much like you might find in a weather forecast. The scale goes from 0 to 9. A zero means that there is no visible auroral activity, while a nine means that there is a brilliant and shimmering spectacle going on that you would be crazy to miss.
Always check for these forecasts, since you should know where the activity stands before you plan to go see one. Whether you are taking Northern Lights pictures or just going for the show, most people who witness their first aurora find it an unforgettable experience.