featuring Connor Mockett
Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another week of The Weather with Connor. It’s been very quiet in the world of weather around these parts. There hasn’t really been anything going on since the August 10th flooding event in Ottawa. No real storm chases since I saw the Findlay Creek tornado on August 3rd. This leaves me with not a whole lot to talk about, so I’ve decided I’ll talk about a little last minute adventure I went on last Sunday evening (and night).
I spent last Sunday, September 24th doing what Sundays are made for: nothing! I hung around at home with my wonderful girlfriend all day long as she did her college homework, preparing for an upcoming exam that she had (she passed!). The day goes by and gets into the evening, and then I get a message on my phone from one of my chase partners, Tom. He’s wondering if there’s anyone going out that night to catch some Northern Lights!
I actually hadn’t been paying attention to any Aurora forecasts, I had no idea this Aurora storm was even happening until he mentioned it in a group chat. Seeing that it was already 5:30 pm and the spot we were going to is 3 hours away so we can get out of the light pollution of the Ottawa area, I thought in my head “nah, not tonight”, mostly because we both had to be up at 6:00 am on Monday morning. With that said, you’d think I wouldn’t go out super late at night, right? Well, you see, that’s where you’re wrong.
I quickly reversed course, because the last big Northern Lights event was clouded over, and I desperately wanted to see them again after almost a year of not seeing them. Zoe and I hopped in the car super fast, and started our way over to the spot for our Aurora viewing pleasure in the complete darkness without any light pollution around, other than that big white thing in the sky called the Moon.
Along the way, we stopped in Perth to fill up my vehicle with some gas, and also met up with Tom, so the three of us could experience the show together. This was actually my first time going to this spot, so I followed behind Tom on the highway until we made it to our location.
This spot is about 45 minutes west of Perth. It’s completely pitch black, making Aurora visibility fantastic. We were just outside the small town of Arden, Ontario, right on the shore of Big Clear Lake. We set up our cameras on our tripod, and waited for the show to start at about 9:15
It took about 25 minutes after setup before Aurora started to show up on the cameras during a long exposure. Pretty green Aurora was there, with a little bit of pink right above it. After another about 10-15 minutes, the Aurora glow on the horizon was clearly visible to the naked eye, and you could see the light pillars dancing across the sky as well. It was the most beautiful Aurora show I’ve seen in my life so far. It’s a lot of fun to shoot photos of it, even though you’re really just standing there pressing a button on your camera. Minimal effort, maximum excitement adventure!
We stuck around until about 11:00 pm. The show started to really dwindle down at about 10:30 pm, with just a minimal green Aurora on camera and no longer visible to the naked eye. With nothing to photograph since early August, that Sunday night was a breath of fresh air (figuratively and literally).