Short Term Prediction Down? Use This!

The solar flares that are producing the predicted geomagnetic storms (1/8/2014 – 1/10/2014) have also produced a solar radiation storm at level S2. This solar radiation storm has temporarily taken the ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) satellite out of service. The data this satellite collects is one of the main inputs used for short term Kp prediction.

The data from ACE is used when estimating the short term Kp values – the ones you see in the sidebar. When this data is bad, there are two alternatives. First, the USAF reports the current Kp index every three hours. NLN will post the USAF current Kp value in the side bar when the short term Kp values are not dependable.

Second, the NOAA Ovation model predicts the near term 30-45 minute current Northern Hemisphere Aurora visibility. This model works well for Kp values under 7, but is not proven yet for higher Kp values. Here is the current Ovation model output for the northern hemisphere.

Ovation forecast model - Northern hemisphere

Hopefully if you came to this post because the ACE satellite is down, it will be back up soon!

Aurora Watch for January 8th, 2014

The Aurora Gods came together today.   The Sun has been super-active over the last couple days.   Sunspot 1944 is now at beta-delta-gamma, and produced an x-class flare today.  The Space Weather Prediction Center posted a watch for tonight with a possible Kp = 5, and a watch for tomorrow night for a G2 storm with Kp values up to 6.  SWPC has hinted that we may hit Major Storm Level on the January 9th. The timing of this potential storm is perfect, it should be clear across most of the north eastern United States. However, the Midwest is more likely to have clouds thanks to waning the Polar Vortex.

Yea – I’m excited, this is the best setup since the night we saw the Aurora in Malletts Bay.

— Charles

Crowd sourced to help you see Aurora Borealis!