** Aurora Watch In Effect **
The elevated solar wind speeds that have been buffeting Earth's
magentosphere are gradually fading, but not before producing some very
nice aurora displays. See this link for some beautiful aurora
pictures taken in Canada and the northern US.
There will be a brief respite for two or three days, and things will
begin to get interesting again. You don't have to have a big flare
and a lot of sunspots to pruduce geomagnetic activity, as the events
of 5/15 clearly show. A long duration C4-class flare, which doesn't
even come close to qualifying as a significant flare, fired off a
full-halo CME, and it is headed squarely for Earth. The flare came
from sunspot region 9948.
same sunspot region has also produced two M-class flares over the last
48 hours. The CME should be arriving sometime on the 18th or the
19th, and active geomagnetic conditions are a distinct possibility.
The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :
NOAA sunspot number : 120
SFI : 158
A index : 9
K index : 2
Solar wind speed : 334.0 km/sec
Solar wind density : 3.2 protons/cc
Solar wind pressure : 0.6 nPa
IMF : 6.1 nT
IMF Orientation : 1.2 nT South
Conditions for the last 24 hours :
No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours.
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. The potential for an
isolated M-class event is possible.
Geomagmetic activity forecast :
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled. Active
conditions are possible on 19 May as a result of the CME observed from
Region 9948 at 16/0035 UTC.
Recent significant solar flare activity :
15-May-2002 0813Z M1.0
17-May-2002 0120Z M1.6