The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, so many of us will be out under the 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 deep trough over NNE Europe with a another trough over WSW Europe, while a shallow ridge dominates east-central Europe and Balkan peninsula. Should be cloudy in some areas (W Europe), but expect gradually clearing skies in the evening over other parts of Europe, after daytime convective activity diminishes. So great chances for many observers across our continent.
Tonight, August 12/13
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 through the high clouds. Low/mid-level clouds 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 across western Europe with cloudiness along both frontal boundaries – a warm front extending across the North Sea, Denmark, N Germany and N Poland into Baltic countries. As well as along the cold frontal boundary / zone extending from Benelux into western France. A lot of cloudiness also across the British and Irish Isles as cold airmass results in low/mid level clouds through the night. Unfortunately poor chances for have clear skies tonight in these areas.
The rest of Europe seems actually pretty good and optimistic tonight, so we can expect mostly clear skies through the night across much of central Europe, Balkan peninsula as well as east and south Europe. Good chances also across parts of Scnadinavia.
Note: White colors mean 100% cloud coverage!
Lets take a look at low-clouds, closer to the ground. This map reveals more clouds across large parts of western and partly south-western Europe, including northern Spain as low level advection brings moisture from the Bay of Biscay. Great conditions with mostly clear skies seem over much of E France, most of Germany, Poland, Iberia, Italy, Alpine region, Balkan peninsula and large part of eastern Europe and the rest of south 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 80-100 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