Aurora hunters cause traffic chaos as clouds spoil Northern Lights show

Forecasters suggested there could be an even more spectacular display across Scotland on Monday - but cloudy skies left many disappointed.

As hundreds of Scots went in search of dark, clear skies in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights, clouds dashed their chances and queues of disappointed travellers brought traffic to a standstill.

Forecasters suggested there could be an even more spectacular display from the Northern Lights across Scotland on Monday night after Sunday saw them visible as far south as Kent, in England.

Although clear skies were expected for western and north western areas, cloud cover was widespread making it impossible to witness the natural phenomenon.

An alert for major geomagnetic activity was issued by Lancaster University’s AuroraWatch on Monday night, warning the Northern Lights would very likely be visible across Scotland where skies were clear.

Eager sightseers ventured out of their towns and cities to find somewhere away from artificial light pollution for the best view of the Aurora Borealis.

Traffic was heavier than usual in places with people trying to recreate the previous night’s events.

Ayr Beach, Helensburgh Esplanade and spots around Loch Lomond were among the most popular locations.

On Sunday, stargazers all over the country were lucky enough to spot the spectacle in places such as Cumbernauld, Ayr, Dundee, across Argyll and beyond.

But cloud cover frustrated attempts to catch the light display on Monday, and hundreds were left returning home with the bucket list item unchecked.

“Unfortunately the cloud is proving more stubborn tonight for most,” said STV meteorologist Sean Batty.

“Best spots for cloud breaks big enough to see Northern Lights at moment – Tayinloan, Gigha, Jura, Islay, Colonsay, Spean Bridge, Fort William and Torridon. Great for Skye, Small Isles and Western Isles.”

Huge queues formed on the A82 along Loch Lomond with the road southwards beside Duck Bay at a standstill at around 11pm.

One Twitter user said she and her mum drove for five hours trying to outrun the clouds but weren’t able to.

“Was wonderful to see so many people lining the wee country lanes that are usually deserted on our nighttime adventures though,” Nadine tweeted.

Another hopeful from Greenock who was left disappointed by the clouds was instead able to capture a “calm and lovely” view down onto the Firth of Clyde.

But others elsewhere in the country were sucessful. Sam Tedcastle “chased” the Aurora to a patch of clear sky at Loch Leven.

For most, however, it was a disappointing night of hunting for the Northern Lights.

Lancaster University’s AuroraWatch App tracks geomagnetic activity and can provide users with alerts for when and where the lights may be visible.

You can find out more about it here.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code