Mid March G1 Storm Watch Posted

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Northern Lights Now – Less than a week after the last active period for aurora a new storm watch has been posted by SWPC indicating the potential for G1 storming conditions. The current watch, posted for March 22nd, is due to the anticipated high speed solar wind from a center disk coronal hole.

The current coronal hole is a little further south than the one that brought aurora activity earlier this week and is much closer to center disk. It is smaller than the previous coronal hole, so NLN is forecasting a shorter duration period of activity. Here’s an image of the coronal hole from the SDO satellite.

Southern Hemisphere coronal hole extends northward across the Solar Equator
Southern Hemisphere coronal hole extends northward across the Solar Equator

The initial increase in winds should arrive midday on March 22nd with the KP levels rising soon afterward. Wind velocity should increase from today’s baseline of around 350 km/s to above 500km/s. The best monitor solar wind speed is by keeping an eye on the NLN Solar Wind Dynamics page. The page automatically refreshes with the latest data from DSCOVR every minute.

The timing of the expected activity is shown here on the NLN aurora clock. The period of orange (G1 storming) is expected late in the UTC day.

NLN Aurora Clock shows expected G1 storming late in the UTC day March 22, 2018
NLN Aurora Clock shows expected G1 storming late in the UTC day March 22, 2018

Happy Hunting