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Solar Activity Report for 3/17/03

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  • David
    ** Aurora Watch In Effect ** This St. Patrick s Day has been a very interesting one. The hits just keep on coming! The big story has to be today s flare.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 17, 2003
      ** Aurora Watch In Effect **

      This St. Patrick's Day has been a very interesting one. The hits just
      keep on coming! The big story has to be today's flare. The sun broke
      quite a long significant flare-free period with a literal bang in the
      form of an X-1 class flare from sunspot region 314. There was also an
      associated CME with this massive flare. The CME wasn't squarely
      Earth-directed, but we could get at least a glancing blow from it
      sometime on the 19th. If it does hit, it will add to the activity
      already being caused by the high speed solar wind gusts. Speaking of
      which, the geomagnetic field got up to the G-2 geomagnetic storm level
      earlier today, and the solar wind speed has been hovering around the
      800 km/sec mark for much of the day. Look for things to be active and
      quite interesting for the next 48 hours at least, and then beginning
      to calm down a bit after that. Today's events just go to show you
      that even in the declining phase of a sunspot cycle, big flares can
      still happen, and there can be plenty of action to keep you occupied!
      Sunspot region 314 has the potential of lighting off another major flare.

      The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :

      NOAA sunspot number : 80
      SFI : 125
      A index : 31
      K index : 4

      Solar wind speed : 840.0 km/sec (no, that's not a typo!)
      Solar wind density : 1.3 protons/cc
      Solar wind pressure : 1.1 nPa

      IMF : 8.5 nT
      IMF Orientation : 0.7 nT North

      Conditions for the last 24 hours :
      Space weather for the past 24 hours has been strong. Geomagnetic
      storms reaching the G2 level occurred. Radio blackouts reaching the R3
      level occurred.

      Forecast for the next 24 hours :
      Space weather for the next 24 hours is expected to be minor.
      Geomagnetic storms reaching the G1 level are expected. Radio blackouts
      reaching the R1 level are expected.

      Solar activity forecast :
      Solar activity is expected to be moderate. M-class activity is likely
      in Region 314, including the possibility of another major flare.

      Geomagnetic activity forecast :
      The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly active over the next 24
      hours with the possibility of minor storm periods. Activity levels are
      expected to abate by the end of the three-day forecast period.

      Recent significant solar flare activity :
      18-Mar-2003 0037Z M1.7
      17-Mar-2003 1905Z X1.5
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