AT THE risk of jinxing it and putting a stop to all activity, the 2018 noctilucent cloud season has got off to a rather promising start, writes STUART ATKINSON. Just over two weeks in and there have been a couple of pretty decent displays already and a handful of weaker, fainter ones too. Hopefully it won't be too long before a major display paints the northern sky with billows, swirls and curls of electric blue light after midnight.

Unfortunately - unlike the northern lights - we can't really predict when a display of NLC will occur. Most NLC watchers now rely on social media to provide them with up date information on displays; up and down the country NLC hunters go out on any clear night in June and July and if they see any activity they post a report on Facebook or Twitter, alerting everyone else that something is going on. I'm one of them, so if you follow me on either of those platforms you'll get a heads-up if anything happens 'up there.' Others monitor north facing webcams based in Scotland and the north east for signs of activity.

But not everyone lives online, I know, so you can maximise your chances of seeing NLC the old fashioned way, by just keeping an eye out for them on any clear summer nights. You need to be looking north after midnight, quite low down in the sky. NLC will look like tendrils, whirls and whorls of silvery blue-white in that part of the sky.