The expected CME over the weekend panned out pretty good. The activity on the Poker Flats camera was great. Unfortunately, we dealt with a lot of cloud cover in the Anchorage area on Saturday night again. The current projections show very little in the way of density but a fairly steady elevated wind speed over the next several days. With that in mind, if skies are clear, keep an eye out for aurora activity. The increased wind speeds could provide the catalyst required for at least some activity.
Much of the state is currently under clear skies and fair conditions with just a few areas of lower clouds showing in the central part of the state. This will persist through Monday (March 21) and into early Tuesday (March 22) morning. As Tuesday morning begins, upper-level clouds will start creeping in from the southwest ahead of the next storm system and spread across the southeastern half of the state by early Wednesday (March 23) morning. Some breaks are possible across Anchorage, Valdez, and Fairbanks late Wednesday night and into early Thursday (March 24) morning; however, confidence on large breaks is very low. Unsettled conditions will persist through Friday (March 25) with conditions improving throughout the day on Saturday (March 26) and continuing through Sunday (March 27) evening.
For Anchorage and Valdez, expect the best seeing conditions for any aurora activity to be Monday night. Beginning early Tuesday, clouds will become a factor into Wednesday. There may be some breaks in the clouds Wednesday night and into Thursday morning before clouds return to dominate the skies Thursday and through Friday evening. Clouds begin to clear out during the day on Saturday and leave good skies for Saturday and Sunday nights. Thus, the best nights will be Monday, Saturday, and Sunday.
For the Fairbanks region, expect similar conditions a little delayed from the southern regions. Monday and Tuesday nights are looking to be good for seeing conditions with Wednesday through Friday not looking too great. Some breaks are possible Thursday and Friday nights before skies clear for Saturday and Sunday evening viewing chances. Thus, for Fairbanks, Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday look to be the best chances for good aurora viewing conditions if the data supports any activity.
Happy chasing if you are out and about! Updates, if necessary, will be provided in the comments!
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