There are a number of research sites around the world that measure the intensity of the solar winds emanating from the sun’s surface and therefore what level of Northern Lights show can be expected (as measured by the KP index as magnitude scale rated from 0-10).
If you are planning a Northern Lights Holiday then here are links to two forecasting sites from where you can navigate to regional maps of the Polar Regions to see what level of Aurora Borealis display is due. The University of Alaska in Fairbanks has a 21 day Aurora forecast which is visible on their site by region, and “Space weather” is much better when you are within 3 days of being in the aurora belt.
The University of Alaska Northern Lights forecast provides a good overall prediction, but as the longer term forecasts are not adjusted to solar flares as we get nearer the date we recommend you use it in conjunction with “Space Weather”
Solar flares take around 3 days to get from the surface of the sun to earth and can have a big impact on the intensity of the Northern Lights display.
The “Space Weather” web site has more technical indicators with more detailed 3 days forecasts and very good shorter term indicators. So if you are on location in the Aurora Belt in winter then this is a good site to reference
As established elsewhere in the site it is important to take note of the weather forecast as well as the aurora forecast when considering where you plan to see the Northern Lights. With so many forecasting sites out there we have honed in on two recommended sites.
For Iceland the local met office produces a very detailed weather site.
For Norway, Sweden and Finland we recommend www.yr.no, a Norwegian weather platform which has very detailed forecasts on a micro level so you can zoom into where you are located.
Finally there is nothing like local knowledge. There are aurora guides in many of the key locations who hunt the Northern Lights and have done for years. They have an uncanny knack of being able to either find a pocket in the sky or predict what might happen during the course of an evening.