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 – 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.
Northern Lights Now – A G3 storm watch is in effect for September 6 and 7 thanks to a solar storm launched from an Earth-directed solar eruption at active region 2673. Aurora hunters are expecting a mid-latitude display. Northern Lights Now will keep you up to date on the latest information in this live blog. We’ll be updating regularly, so come back often.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 9, 04:45 UTC (00:45 EST 9/9) Live blog time: 72h 45m
Whew! What a storm. There were two distinct periods of G4 storming in the last 36 hours. The first was timed well for North American aurora hunters and the second for our Europeans followers. This was a treat, especially for this late in the solar cycle.
The core of both CMEs has now passed and the magnetosphere should start to settle down. There still may be a couple more G1/G2 substorms in the next 24 hours, but the event is coming to an end. Thank you all for reading along and sharing your photos. Please follow NLN on Twitter and on Facebook and sign up for our email list to learn about the next storm when it comes.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 22:00 UTC (16:00 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 68h 00m
Bz continues to be south and wingKP is indicating G4 storming is going on again now. IF you have clear dark skies go out aurora hunting!
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 15:15 UTC (11:15 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 63h 15m
In the last update we mentioned that it looks like another CME core is coming through. It is here now and G4 storming is happening again. Tell your friends to go out and look at the sky if it’s dark and clear! Please share this info and help your friends get a chance to see the aurora for themselves.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 12:15 UTC (08:15 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 60h 15m
What a night! There were two periods of G4 storming before the Bz shifted as Earth exited the core of CME. Aurora hunters from Europe to Central North America got a show.
But wait there’s more! In the last update we mentioned the possibility that there may be another CME core arriving soon. About 45 minutes ago it did as shown in the solar wind data. With Bz this strong south, we are now expecting another round of at least G3 storming over the next 1-4 hours.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 05:30 UTC (01:30 EST 9/8) Live blog time: 53h 30m
There are interesting questions about the future geomagnetic activity of this storm. The IP shocks from both the M5.5 and the X9.33 flares have now arrived. In a regular solar storm, the shock arrives and is followed soon after by the core or body of the CME. In this case, the cores of both CMEs have interacted. This is a very complex, and low confidence, forecast. The bottom line is: We might see another round of G3 storming as the body of the X9.33 CME arrives, or the body of the CME may miss Earth and it might be over. Best thing to do is watch the Bz which, by the way, just flopped back to negative. If Bz stays negative, our west coast US followers and Australia/New Zealand followers may get a show tonight.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wed, Sept 8, 02:45 UTC (22:45 EST 9/7) Live blog time: 50h 45m
Epic Aurora going on! G4 storming is logged and continues. Bz shifted back to the south, so it may slow for a bit now. Check out this small sampling of images coming in: