G1 Storm Watch Posted For Possible Aurora Jan 24

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Northern Lights Now – SWPC has posted a G1 storm watch for January 24. Active space weather could make for an aurora display starting on the 23rd as high speed winds from a coronal hole buffet Earth’s magnetosphere.

The northern hemisphere coronal hole was directed towards Earth on January 21 as shown below in an image from the SDO satellite. Coronal holes emit higher solar wind speeds and it takes 2-4 days for those winds to arrive at Earth.

The dark area is a coronal hole in this image from SDO in AIA 193
The dark area is a coronal hole in this image from SDO in AIA 193

The timing of this storm is expected to be at the beginning of the UTC on the 24th. For people in the UK, the storm should start around midnight and go into the wee hours. For north american hunters, it should start just after Sunset. These forecasts can be off by as much as 6 hours. If the wind speed is higher than expected, the storm will start earlier as the wind arrives sooner (but the show should be better)

NLN Clock shows the storm arriving just after midnight UTC on the 24th
NLN Clock shows the storm arriving just after midnight UTC on the 24th

Here is the official graphic from SWPC (Space Weather Prediction Center)

SWPC notification timeline showing storm watch
SWPC notification timeline showing storm watch