Historic outbreak of noctilucent clouds over Europe – June 21st, 2019
It is now abundantly clear that this was likely the most widespread outbreak of noctilucent clouds ever observed over Europe.
Noctilucent clouds were reported from Poland to the UK and from Denmark to Italy and Croatia – and everywhere in between. Not only that: while typically NLCs are only visible low in the northern sky, they covered half the sky and more across many locations. In some places NLCs were so bright that people could read under their light! This unprecedented display continues the exceptionally active NLC season of 2019: the first NLCs were reported as early as May 28th and several major displays had already happened in the first three weeks of June.
Noctilucent cloud displays were noted across Europe on June 8th, 10th and 11th, with a major display on the night of June 12/13th and another one on June 17/18th. Noctilucent clouds were seen as far south as Romania. On June 9th noctilucent clouds were spotted in California, as far south as 33 °N – a new record! Combined with the historic June 21st outbreak, this is certainly the most active NLC season on record.
Stay alert for noctilucent clouds in the next several weeks. Watch the northern skies in evening and morning twilight. Any noctilucent clouds will be bright white or bluish, while other clouds (lower down in the troposphere) will be already dark. Noctilucent clouds come in many different shapes and forms, from tenuous veils, to long streaking, parallel bands, closely spaced waves and ripples and sometimes even whirls. In the evening watch the sky starting about 20-30 minutes after sunset and keep watching for the next hour or so. In the morning, go out about an hour and a half before sunrise and watch the northern sky. In this year’s NLC season you will get lucky sooner or later and maybe you will see a big outbreak. Good luck!