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Taurid Meteor Shower: Madrid to Rome to Sofia to Enjoy Best Viewing Conditions in Europe

The southern half of Europe will have the best viewing conditions for the Taurid Meteor Shower, which is notorious for producing fireballs, this weekend.

The Taurid Meteor Shower has been underway since late October but is currently in its gradual peak through Nov. 12, stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel.

"There could be an absolute peak on the night of Nov. 11-12," said Samuhel.

"In a given year, this shower typically produces just five to 10 meteors per hour," continued Samuhel, "but there are notable swarm years, when this shower really impresses, and 2015 is one of those years."

"Fireballs are common with the Taurids," added Samuhel, "and there are already reports of unusually bright meteors (fireballs) streaming in from all over the world in the past week."

The Taurid Meteor Shower results when the Earth passes through the debris stream left by Comet Encke. Samuhel states that since this debris is larger than typical meteor particles, the stage is set for fireballs to streak through the sky.

"Fireballs are just bright meteors, as bright or brighter than the planet Venus," he said.

Skygazers across southern Europe hoping to catch a glimpse of the cosmic fireballs will have no issues due to the weather thanks to a large dome of high pressure.

"After parades of storms with torrential rains, the high will hold over the Balkans, Italy and even as far west as Spain and Portugal," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer.

Clear skies will prevail in Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Sofia and Athens through this weekend. Only light fall jackets will be needed with temperatures near to above normal.

Samuhel added that the moon, which is approaching new moon phase, will further aid in ensuring skygazers have the best opportunity to view the Taurids.

"Viewing conditions will also be great over the next several nights with the lack of a bright moon," he said. "The moon now rises well after midnight."

Farther north, a parade of storms will create less than ideal conditions for those hoping to see a fireball.

Storm systems will make it hard for those from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and from northern France to the Baltic states to view the Taurids. Any breaks in the clouds will be brief.

Across central Europe, clouds will occasionally obscuring the view. However, there should be enough clear patches to give residents a decent opportunity to catch a glimpse of a cosmic fireball.