Northern Lights Now – A High Speed Stream from a coronal hole, coupled with CMEs from multiple Solar eruptions means there is a good chance for active aurora over the coming days. This is a complex system, but carries many indicators that aurora hunters may be in luck. Stay tuned as NLN continues to provide updates over the coming days. We will get the coverage started with the NLN clock showing the predicted activity over the next three days.
Northern Lights Now – A complex set of flares and CMEs has set up a period of potential aurora activity on Nov 3rd through 5th. The official forecast is calling for a period of G1 storming late on the third for 6-9 hours, then another period late on the 4th potentially into the 5th. As such, the Aurora liveblog is being activated
NLN Live Blog Update – Thursday, November 4, 02:30 UTC (07:00 EST 11/4)
Live blog time: 19 Hours 00 mins
Aurora hunters are being treated to a show with G3 aurora in high latitudes. Every time there is a solar storm expected, there is uncertainty in how it will be oriented when it arrives. This storm arrived with nearly perfect orientation for aurora sightings. As of now, there has been six hours of strong (-10nT) south oriented Bz, 15+ hours of solar wind speeds over 700 km/s, 1+ hours of solar wind speeds over 800 km/s, nearly 15 hours of Bt over 15 nT. With data like that, it isn’t surprising Earth has been experiencing G3 and possibly even G4 conditions.
The ovation model, which estimates where it’s likely to have active aurora, is showing a wide swath of red across almost all of Canada, Alaska, and Russia. In the southern hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand have been treated to a show. This storm is a worldwide event.
NLN Live Blog Update – Thursday, November 4, 02:30 UTC (22:30 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 5 Hours 30 mins
Bz has been rolling in and out of south orientation, solar wind speeds have been holding above 750 km/s and the BT has remained strong. This has brought strong sub-storms during the Bz south periods. KP reached 7 (the highest it has been so far this solar cycle) and there have been aurora reports coming in from Maine, Vermont, Eastern Canada, Scotland and more.
At the moment, it appears Bz may be rotating back to the south. If this continues aurora hunters could see another round of aurora over the next 2-3 hours. There is also the possibility that we could see another shock arrival in the next 6 hours or so. If this happens we could have an abrupt end to the show, or it could intensify. Most likely, given the strength of the solar wind we are in the main portion of the storm and have less than 12 hours left of this storm.
NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 22:10 UTC (18:10 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 1 Hours 10 mins
NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 21:20 UTC (17:20 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 0 Hours 20 mins
After a momentary outage, Solar wind data is back online. With winds over 700 km/s and Bz strongly south, there is likely already G1 storming occuring
NLN Live Blog Update – Wednesday, November 3, 21:00 UTC (17:00 EST 11/3)
Live blog time: 0 Hours 0 mins
The first sign of the CMEs arrival hit DSCOVR at about 19:20 UTC, with a stronger impact around 20:00. Initial readings are showing a strong south Bz component and high solar wind speeds above 650 km/s. This is already an indication that this storm could yield better aurora production that the previous storm from Halloween weekend. This data means it is likely that we will reach G1 storming within about 90 minutes.
About an hour after the storm starting impacting, a glitch and set of errors has made DSCOVR blind to the solar wind. Aurora hunters will need to fall back on ACE as a source for data until DSCOVR comes back on line.
Northern Lights Now – Another CME launched from the Sun and the updated forecast calls for more potential periods of G1 storming on Nov 4.
There have now been three significant flares with associated CMEs across the previous two days. The first two are from Active Region 2887 (the one that produced the X-class flare and storming over Halloween weekend) which is now rotating around the west limb. The third, launched on Nov 2, was from AR 2891 which is currently center disk. This likely means we’ll receive a direct hit.
The CMEs traveling out from these eruptions will likely interact and make for a somewhat complicated forecast. That said, SWPC has updated the Forecast and is now showing a period of Activity late on 11/3 and early on 11/4 then another period of G1 storming later in the Nov 4 period. It is very possible the forecast is conservative given the position of the third eruption. Here is the most recent forecast:
Here is an annotated two day composite of LASCO showing the three eruptions that are responsible for the activity predicted in this forecast.