** Aurora Watch In Effect **
The Earth is still inside of a high speed solar wind stream, with the
solar wind speed over 500 km/sec, although it is slowing down from
yesterday's level. G-1 geomagnetic storm conditions have been
observed along with this event, and aurora have been seen and
photographed in Canada and Alaska, as can be seen here :
There's at least an outside of more geomagnetic storm conditions
before things settle back down on or about the 18th. However, it
could be only a brief respite. Sunspot region 540 has become active,
producing two M-class flares within the last 24 hours, one of them
being a very respectable M-5 event. The SOHO satellite imagery isn't
available yet, but the space weather gurus say we could be seeing some
increased activity on the 20th due to a CME associated with the M-5
flare. More M-class flares from this sunspot region are a possibility.
The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :
NOAA sunspot number : 56
SFI : 123
A index : 15
K index : 4
Solar wind speed : 569.5 km/sec
Solar wind density : 1.9 protons/cc
Solar wind pressure : 1.1 nPa
IMF : 6.9 nT
IMF Orientation : 3.8 nT North
Conditions for the last 24 hours :
Space weather for the past 24 hours has been moderate. Radio blackouts
reaching the R2 level occurred.
Forecast for the next 24 hours :
Space weather for the next 24 hours is expected to be minor. Radio
blackouts reaching the R1 level are expected.
Solar activity forecast :
Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate. Isolated M-class
activity is possible from Region 540.
Geomagnetic activity forecast :
The geomagnetic field is expected to continue at quiet to active
levels through 18 January as the high speed stream subsides. Quiet to
unsettled conditions are expected on 19 January. A disturbance
associated with today's M5 flare, is expect to begin on 20 January.
Active to minor storm conditions are expected.
Recent significant solar flare activity :
17-Jan-2004 1750Z M5.0
18-Jan-2004 0015Z M1.5