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 – The late September geomagnetic activity resulting from a large coronal hole has exceeded initial expectations reaching G3 storm levels and helping aurora hunters world-wide capture staggering views. Solar wind speeds have been between 650 and 750 km/s for just over 24 hours now. Periods of high density and negative Bz, and quickly fluctuating Bz during that time pushed KP values above 6.67 for several hours.
The timing worked well for aurora hunters from Northern Europe across Northern North America. Clouds disrupted viewing in the UK and New England, but many locations saw vivid displays of Green, Red and Purple overnight.
Wendy T shared this great set of 4 images
Thanks Everyone. Heres' a few from last night (not off back of camera but straight off!) Fingers crossed for more tonight.. pic.twitter.com/zr7IEKeyGA
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.