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G2 + G1 geomagnetic storms expected from 9 Jan



G2 + G1 geomagnetic storms expected from 9 Jan

There was a huge X1.2 flare in the centre of the solar disc Jan 7. It produced a CME which although is not a direct hit, it should deliver quite a strong blow when it arrives at Earth Jan 9.

Initial analysis suggests a G2 (kp6) geomagnetic storm on it’s arrival, subsiding to a G1(kp5) geomagnetic storm shortly afterwards and remaining a G1 for a good duration.

It looks strong this, there are rumours it could reach G3 (kp7). We won’t know for sure until it arrives.

CME expected to arrive 7 Jan



CME expected to arrive 7 Jan

G1 geomagnetic storm auroras

The solar wind environment is expected to become enhanced due to the arrival of a shock and CME from the 04 Jan M4 event on days two and three (07 – 08 Jan). It doesn’t look like a huge event, with maximum Kp5 predicted. But as ever, we won’t know for sure until it arrives, so we’ll keep an open mind.

The CME is forecast to arrive in the mid to late evening on January 7. So keep an eye on the aurora forecast, especially the hourly forecast.

All times are Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

CH HSS & CME January 1st/2nd.



CH HSS & CME January 1st/2nd.

coronalhole31Dec-comp

All eyes are on this coronal hole that has been rotating into an Earth facing position. We have been keeping an eye on it, and it has continued to change as we have shown in the images.

The high speed solar wind flowing out of it was last recorded at the stereo B satellite (see image) on the far side of the sun, at nearly 700 km/s, but as it has continued to change since then, so it could be better (or worse), we just won’t know until it arrives around 1 or 2 Jan. Ball park figure is kp4. There is also a CME that could also arrive the same time, which could make it more interesting and tip it into geomagnetic storm levels with both CH HSS & CME affects combined.

So, keep an eye on the aurora forecast page over the next few days.

Where are the Stereo Satellites?

where_is_stereo

G1 storm expected 13 December



G1 storm expected 13 December

G1 geomagnetic storm auroras

Further to our earlier news about a decent looking Coronal Hole. SWPC have just issued a G1 storm watch. It is only a watch, it is not definite if it will reach G1, but on the other hand it could reach more than G1. Either way, it’s been pretty quiet recently so it’s great to have a bit of activity whatever happens. Clear skies folks!

CH HSS inbound



CH HSS inbound

High speed solar wind auroras

A nice looking CH HSS is rotating into an geoeffective position. We expect to see a high speed solar wind from the above coronal hole late Friday. Kp4 levels are predicted.

No news is good news…


..except when it comes to solar activity which then means no news is very bad news.

So we are going through a bit of a quiet spell.

Here’s how it looks as of 21st November:

Current chances of auroras

New CME forecast for direct hit! (old news, ignore it)


Well it’s up and down at the moment!

There was another X1 solar flare this morning (10th), but we have basically stopped reporting on what-if’s now, we will just report on strong data coming out of Nasa or Noaa. Well, there is good news, this X flare, although impulsive, released a CME and it is pretty much coming straight at us. It is a pretty small plasma cloud, so the show will probably only last a day at most, so it’s whatever continent gets this first will probably have the best show. It is forecast to arrive late 12th (UTC) but could be a bit earlier or a bit later, (very rarely are they on time).

10112013

Keep an eye on the 3 day forecast as the Kp figures will soon change to reflect this activity. Clear skies folks.

UPDATE

This is believed to be a very weak event now. Keep an eye on the forecast page the next few days anyway in case it surprises us. But oretty much everyone thinks this is a weak event and that the Nasa model (above) got it wrong.

CME Downgraded…



CME Downgraded…

Our previous news about CME arriving Monday/Tuesday has changed. Nasa models still show CME arriving, but they don’t say how strong (or weak) they will be. NOAA have practically removed them entirely from their computer models. So it is likely the CME will be a miss or so weak it won’t even register.

Frustrating isn’t it.

If you want to know why these X class flares aren’t giving us a show (when they really should be giving us awesome shows), I’ll try to explain it.

Most of the big solar flares recently have been what’s known as impulsive. They are big flares yes, but they are very brief events, and there isn’t enough time to spit out tons of plasma that we as aurora watchers are depending on. Impulsive flares can produce CME’s, but they are usually pretty weak.

If you have a look at the X ray flux image on our solar activity page, this is monitoring flare activity on the sun. Notice the flares happening recently, they are quick spikes on the graph. Like this:

Rubbish flares:
impulse solar flare

 

Now the sign of a good flare, is one that has a longer duration, so instead of the graph just spiking, the line on the graph will go up and then sideways. Like this:

Good flares:

Long duration solar flare

 

That image is an example of what I would call a good flare. So when you are looking on the solar activity page to see if there has been any recent flares, you really want to see an image like that.

So, lets keep our fingers crossed for a good long duration solar flare soon.

CME expected 11th/12th November



CME expected 11th/12th November

Aurora show

An X1.1 solar flare this morning from sunspot 1890, also produced a CME. The flare itself was brief, as such the CME isn’t as big as we would have liked. But it’s a CME and we’ll take it. It is predicted to brush past earth Monday or Tuesday (Nasa and Noaa both have different models). There is also a CH HSS (coronal hole high speed stream) due to arrive the same time. So this could provide us with a good aurora show. Keep an eye on the 3 day forecast to see how the Kp numbers look for Monday and Tuesday. They should come available over the weekend.

Kp5/G1 storm expected tonight (28th Oct)



Kp5/G1 storm expected tonight (28th Oct)

Aurora Borealis tonight!

The SWPC have a Kp5/G1 watch active for tonight. They have had them previously this week which amounted to nothing and left an lot of people disappointed. So we are cautious to get peoples hopes up, as such we have barely covered this event. But this one looks like it might be a bit more accurate. On the graph above, the Protons are rising considerably, which means that something reasonable sized will arrive shortly, probably tonight, as forecast. Although it is cloudy in most of Northern Europe tonight, here included, we will be heading out for a few hours if the solar wind conditions at the ACE satellite show good signs. After the previous week, I will be happy to get even green clouds.