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Solar Activity Report for 3/18/03

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  • David
    ** Aurora Watch In Effect ** More powerful flares and a continuing high speed solar wind dominate today s report. First the flares. There was another massive
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2003
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      ** Aurora Watch In Effect **

      More powerful flares and a continuing high speed solar wind dominate
      today's report. First the flares. There was another massive X-1
      class flare today to go along with the one observed yesterday, and
      today's flare had what looks to me a more impressive CME associated
      with it. The CME from yesterday's flare did have a faint semi-halo
      component to it, and we should see at least a glancing blow from it
      tomorrow. However, today's flare produced a CME that, while perhaps
      not being a perfect full-halo CME, wasn't too far from it. I'd still
      call it full-halo, albeit somewhat lopsided. You can judge for
      yourself by looking here :
      http://science.nasa.gov/spaceweather/images2003/18mar03/cme_c3_big.gif
      . We should see that arrival of that one along about Thursday. Add
      the arrivals of those CME's to an already high speed solar wind, and
      the next 48 hours could be quite interesting. The source of all the
      flare action is sunspot region 314. It's actually one of only two
      numbered sunspot regions visible, hense the low sunspot number.
      Region 314 is getting pretty close to the western limb of the solar
      disk, and there are no sunspots visible at all behind it. Look for
      activity to die down pretty quickly starting about three days from
      now. In the mean time, however, the solar wind speed is still ranging
      between the 700 and 800 km/sec marks, and today marked another day
      with geomagnetic storm conditions. The high speed solar wind is
      expected to persist for at least the next 48 hours, and an aurora
      watch remains in effect.

      The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :

      NOAA sunspot number : 64
      SFI : 118
      A index : 20
      K index : 3

      Solar wind speed : 763.6 km/sec
      Solar wind density : 1.0 protons/cc
      Solar wind pressure : 0.8 nPa

      IMF : 5.7 nT
      IMF Orientation : 4.7 nT North

      Conditions for the last 24 hours :
      Space weather for the past 24 hours has been strong. Geomagnetic
      storms reaching the G1 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 moderate.
      Geomagnetic storms reaching the G1 level are expected. Radio blackouts
      reaching the R2 level are expected.

      Solar actviity forecast :
      Solar activity is expected to be moderate to high. Flare activity is
      expected to continue in Region 314, including the chance of another
      major flare.

      Geomagnetic activity forecast :
      The geomagnetic field is expected to be at active to minor storm
      levels for the next 48 hours. The CME associated with the 18 March
      X1/1B flare may influence activity levels on 20 March.

      Recent significant solar flare activity :
      19-Mar-2003 0307Z M1.6
      18-Mar-2003 1208Z X1.5
      18-Mar-2003 0600Z M2.5
      18-Mar-2003 0037Z M1.7
      17-Mar-2003 1905Z X1.5
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