Tag Archives: geomagnetic storm watch

SWPC Issues 48 Hour G1 Aurora Storm Watch Oct 11 and 12

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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.

Northern Hemisphere coronal hole pointed towards Earth on October 7th
Northern Hemisphere coronal hole pointed towards Earth on October 7th

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.

WSA-Enlil model shows density rising, then solar wind speeds increasing to around 550 km/s
WSA-Enlil model shows density rising, then solar wind speeds increasing to around 550 km/s

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.

KP predicted to reach G1 levels on Oct 11 and Oct 12
KP predicted to reach G1 levels on Oct 11 and Oct 12

Happy Hunting

G3 Aurora Recorded Sept 27/28 – More G1 Ahead

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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.

Recorded KP values from SWPC in Boulder indicate 7 synoptic periods for G1+, 2 with G3 stroming
Recorded KP values from SWPC in Boulder indicate 7 synoptic periods for G1+, 2 with G3 stroming

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

Casey Grimley captured some pinks and the coveted fishbone aurora in Ogden Valley

And Jeff Wallace shared some spectacular full sky Gree swirling aurora

Looking ahead – it seems likely that at least G1 storming will continue through at least the next 12 hours or so. SWPC has extended their G1 storm watch an additional 24 hours through Sept 29.

Looking ahead - G1 watch is extended through Sept 29
Looking ahead – G1 watch is extended through Sept 29

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Happy Hunting

Sept 28 Aurora Storm Watch Upgraded to G2

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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.

Red on the NLN AuroraCast Clock shows to expect G2 storming conditions Early Aug 28
Red on the NLN AuroraCast Clock shows to expect G2 storming conditions Early Aug 28

The Moon is will be just shy of 1st quarter, so viewing conditions should be favorable.

Happy Hunting