The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend, so many of us will be out under the clear skies observing this fine celestial show. Weather permitting, of course. So let us take a look across Europe, what the weather will be like for the Perseids.
The current weather pattern across Europe reveals a flattening strong upper ridge over east-central Europe as a deep trough from western Europe is pushed towards north Europe tonight. This brings a cold front with colder airmass across central Europe, so the weather will be cloudy in some areas, but expect gradually clearing skies in the evening, after daytime convective activity diminishes.
Tonight, August 10/11
We take a look over the cloud coverage in the low/mid-level height which is the best level for predicting the potential for clear skies. Although high clouds matter too, at least bright meteors are still visible. Low/mid-level cloud completely obscure the meteors and night sky. Best times for observing are from 10 pm local time until about 5 am local time for locations around 45 °N, so we usually use 21 UTC (11 pm local time), 00 UTC (2 am local time) and 03 UTC (5 am local time) time frames for cloud coverage prediction. These local times are CEST – Central European Summer Time.
Looking at 21, 00 and 03 UTC time frames, the main frontal zone with full cloud coverage extends from the Alpine region across the Czech Republic, Slovakia and E Poland into Baltic countries. Another increased cloud coverage area associated with the cyclone over the North sea, so Benelux, NW Germany and Denmark have poor chances of getting clear skies tonight.
Note: White colors mean 100% cloud coverage!
Lets take a look over the low-clouds, closer to the ground. This map reveals more clouds across large parts of western Europe, looks like south England will still have clear skies. Great conditions with mostly clear skies seem over much of France, parts of Germany, W Poland, N Iberia, parts of Italy, Balkan peninsula and large part of eastern Europe.
Want to photograph Perseid meteors and looking for some tips? Take a look: Meteor photography 101
We wish you fun and pleasant observations and enjoy the Perseids show tonight! Expect up to 20-30 meteors per hour in the morning hours. We welcome you to report us your observations and send photos – report via our Twitter and Facebook profiles or
Stay tuned for updates for the next two nights as well!