Tag Archives: coronal hole

Early September G2 Storming Expected

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Northern Lights Now – SWPC has posted a G2 storm watch for this weekend. The arrival of a coronal hole high speed wind stream should bring a couple periods of active aurora. Here’s the expected timeline.

G1 and G2 periods of Aurora expected this weekend
G1 and G2 periods of Aurora expected this weekend

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

G2 Storm Watch posted for Sept 11

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Northern Lights Now – SWPC has posted a G2 storm watch for potential aurora on September 11 with follow-on activity on Sept 12 that may reach G1 storm levels. The image below shows the periods of time to expect the strongest activity. The Red areas should have G2 storming while the orange areas are predicted to have G1 storming.

NLN AuroraCast shows 4 periods over the next two days of G1 or higher activity
NLN AuroraCast shows 4 periods over the next two days of G1 or higher activity

This activity is the result of high speed wind from the second of a pair of coronal holes providing a 1-2 punch. Solar wind speeds reached speeds of 515km/s in the first stream, but the magnetic structure was not favorable to northern lights activity. The second stream, which is already buffeting Earth with wind speeds over 550 km/s is oriented more favorably. Boulder has already registered three periods of G1 storming.

G1 storming has already been recorded at Boulder
G1 storming has already been recorded at Boulder

Happy Hunting