Northern Lights Now – The Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder Colorado has issued a G1 storm watch for October 11-12 indicating the potential for KP values at or above 5 and active aurora. This is due to the expected high speed solar wind coming from a large northern hemisphere coronal hole.
Models, such as the WSA-Enlil below, are predicting that the first phase of the storm should start midday on Tuesday as plasma densities rise to around 15 p/cm3. 6-12 hours later, solar wind should pick up and may reach 550 km/s. The coronal hole covers a large area longitudinally, so once the wind speed readings increase, they may remain elevated for over three days. It would not be surprising to see the G1 watch extended into a third day.
As of this writing, the periods of KP=5 and above are predicted to start midday on Oct 11 and continue on and off throughout Oct 12.
Northern Lights Now – Quick Update: The expected coronal hole high speed stream arrived with a bang. KP levels have reached G2 and the forecast calls for KP=7.33 in the next hour.
Aurora reports have been streaming in from Northern Europe and Iceland over the last couple hours. As the Sun sets across Eastern North America, expect additional reports to come in from the Northern United States and Canada.
Northern Lights Now – Update from yesterday’s post – SWPC has extended the geomagnetic storm watch into September 28 and is now calling for G2 storming. G2 storming means that KP values could exceed 5.67, strong enough for mid-latitudes to get a display of aurora.
The Moon is will be just shy of 1st quarter, so viewing conditions should be favorable.