A filament eruption on the South West quadrant of the Sun launched a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards Earth on Wednesday 8/12. When it arrives it should produce aurora. SWPC has issued a G1 geomagnetic storm watch for Aug 16 with an expected peak at the beginning of the period. Here’s an animated GIF of the CME launching off the Sun:
This storm may arrive as a one-two punch. In addition the the CME related to the filament, forecasters are expecting an increase in solar wind and density from a coronal hole high speed stream. If these two arrive around the same time, they could create two peaks in activity, or they could generate a stronger aurora storm.
The WSA-ENLIL model is showing the increase in geomagnetic around the beginning of the Aug 16 time period. This corresponds to just before midnight on the 15th in Europe, around sunset on the 15th in North America and around midday on the 16th in Australia/New Zealand. As always these forecasts can by off by +/- 6-12 hours, so aurora hunters should be prepared to be out any time it is dark this weekend. Here’s the snapshot of the WSA-ENLIL model at the expected arrival time:
You can monitor the KP live on Northern Lights Now on our Live KP page. This shows the current KP and projected KP over the next 40-70 minutes. This should give an early warning that aurora may be visible.