Watching the Sun Today

By: MAweatherboy1 , 1:48 PM GMT on November 12, 2012

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I'm watching the potential for some interesting solar weather today. The most imminent threat to Earth is a potential geomagnetic storm that is possible later today and into tomorrow. A pair of relatively weak coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were released from the Sun on November 9th and 10th. Both of these plasma clouds were sent somewhat in the direction of Earth. Ordinarily a fairly weak CME giving Earth only a glancing blow would be a barely noticeable geomagnetic disturbance, however the two CMEs are expected to merge before they reach Earth, providing the potential for minor geomagnetic storming. This will provide an opportunity for auroras to be seen further south than usual, though the odds of them making it to the northern United States seem quite remote at this point. Unfortunately, we know very little about predicting this phenomenon, mostly because we are not very good at predicting the geomagnetic storms that drive them. I will provide updates in the comments section of this blog throughout the day if any major changes are detected. The main factors we will be looking at to determine impacts are the solar wind and Bz component of the magnetic field. A spike in solar wind or a negative Bz component typically indicate a storm is imminent. Currently (8:30AM EST), solar wind is low and the Bz component is nearly neutral, with just a slight positive tilt, indicating everything is normal right now.

Increasing Chance of Solar Flares Today
The weakest solar maximum ever recorded has certainly been living up to the (lack of) hype in the past couple weeks, as the Sun has struggled to muster any large, complex sunspots capable of producing powerful flares.


Figure 1: Sunspot number graph. The red line is the predicted values from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, while the black line/dots are observed values. Solar Cycle 24 has long been expected to be extremely weak, but as this graphic shows it is currently falling well short of even these meager expectations.

The Sun may finally be waking up, however. A moderate M1 class solar flare was recorded Saturday evening from a moderate size new sunspot, numbered 1614, that has rotated into view. Several days before that, a slightly stronger flare was observed in a similar location courtesy of sunspot 1611. 1611 has remained quiet since then, however it has changed little in structure and still poses some risk for an M class flare. Likewise, 1614 has remained quiet since its eruption late Saturday, but it is slowly growing and also poses some risk for an M class event. The other sunspot I'm watching is probably the most interesting. Numbered 1610, this region didn't even exist a few days ago. It has grown rapidly in the last three days, however, and is now a sprawling sunspot that certainly looks capable of producing a powerful flare. So far, however, it has remained very quiet. 1610 is almost directly facing Earth right now, so a CME from an eruption is likely to come our way, though this may be mitigated somewhat by the spot's location on the southern surface of the Sun. Forecasters estimate a 35% chance of an M class flare today, with a 5% chance of an X class flare, the most powerful kind. I put these odds a bit higher at a 45% chance for an M class flare and a 10% chance of an X class event. I will provide further updates on the regions I mentioned in the comments section if necessary, along with information about the possible geomagnetic storm.


Figure 2: 3 day X-ray chart. The chart shows numerous low level C class flares, which are relatively weak, as well as one stronger M class flare.


Figure 3: The Earth facing side of the Sun. The sunspot in the upper left portion of the picture is 1614, responsible for the lone M class flare of the past three days. In the bottom left of the picture of 1613, which appears to be growing now, although it is still far too magnetically simple to produce a solar flare. Sunspots 1611 and 1612 are in close proximity in the left/center portion of the Sun. 1610 is the large region near the south central portion of the picture. The barely visible dot SE of 1614 is tiny sunspot 1615.

Some good links:

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Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!

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75. MAweatherboy1
12:22 AM GMT on November 26, 2012
Had a lot of fun posting on this blog over the past few days, I've really taken a liking to solar weather. Good time for a new entry though as all is quiet on the Sun right now.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
74. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:20 AM GMT on November 26, 2012
MAweatherboy1 has created a new entry.
73. MAweatherboy1
5:05 PM GMT on November 25, 2012
Sunspot 1620 in the southern hemisphere of the Sun is growing quickly today:



If this continues it could pose a threat for C or even M class flares tomorrow. Because it's pretty far south and rotating further away from Earth even if it did become active CMEs from it would likely be directed away from here. Sunspot 1618 is also visible in that image, it continues to decay and will rotate out of view in a couple days. It poses a declining risk for C class flares. The spot starting to rotate into view is 1621. It's decent sized but very magnetically simple and poses no threat for solar flares.

Still an outside chance of minor geomagnetic storming today, solar wind is starting to blow pretty good but Bz remains neutral so anything major is unlikely.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
72. MAweatherboy1
4:13 PM GMT on November 24, 2012
Well, the SWPC has posted an update saying they still expect the second CME to arrive, it's just way behind schedule. I don't know about that though. Bz is way positive and solar wind has remained steady. We'll see.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
71. MAweatherboy1
1:29 PM GMT on November 24, 2012
Epic fail by me and the SWPC last night, the second CME either missed Earth or was too weak to notice (I suspect the first), and as a result we never even reached minor storm levels. There's still an outside chance we get there, but it's unlikely. It goes to show how unpredictable these things are.

All is quiet on the Sun today. 1618 continues to decay and poses a risk for C class flares, and it looks like a moderate size but magnetically simple sunspot is rotating into view, it should be numbered 1621 this evening.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
70. MAweatherboy1
12:56 AM GMT on November 24, 2012
Bz is going back negative and solar wind has ticked up a little more so we could proceed into minor storm territory within a couple hours.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
69. MAweatherboy1
11:36 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
Bz had fallen pretty negative which got us to unsettled levels, but it's managed to pull itself back up near the neutral mark... we won't get to storm levels if it stays that way. My thinking is that we'll really see things ramp up later tonight/early tomorrow morning when the second CME arrives.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
68. MAweatherboy1
11:28 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
Thanks for stopping by pcola!

You may have figured this out but the blog itself is outdated, just follow what I post in the comments.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
67. pcola57
11:19 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
Hmmmm very interesting blog ..thanks MA
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6638
66. MAweatherboy1
10:58 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
We have reached a KP index of 4, meaning the geomagnetic field is unsettled. We should hit 5 soon which would make minor storm levels.

Space Weather Message Code: WARK05
Serial Number: 818
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 23 2246 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
Valid From: 2012 Nov 23 2300 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Nov 24 1100 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

We will likely climb over 5 as the night progresses. A peak at 6 or even a brief 7, which would be major storm, is possible.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
65. MAweatherboy1
10:01 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
Updated 2012 Nov 23 2200 UTC


Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
SDF Number 328 Issued at 2200Z on 23 Nov 2012


IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 22/2100Z to
23/2100Z: Solar activity has been at low levels for the past 24 hours.
The largest solar event of the period was a C1 event observed at
23/1212Z from Region 1618 (N08W27). Although this region retained its
beta-gamma-delta magnetic characteristics, it experienced intermediate
penumbral decay. All other regions on the disk remained stable and
quiet. Between 1200 and 1300Z, a 29 degree filament was observed in SDO
AIA 304 imagery lifting off from the southeast limb. The subsequent CME
was observed in STEREO-A and B COR2 imagery beginning around 1400Z.
Using geometric localization, a preliminary speed of approximately 550
km/s was obtained. This suggests an arrival at earth early on 27
November.


IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at low
levels, with a slight chance for moderate activity, for the entire
forecast period (24-26 Nov).


IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 22/2100Z to 23/2100Z: The geomagnetic
field has been at quiet levels for the past 24 hours. Solar wind speed
at the ACE spacecraft reached 389km/s at 23/2117Z. Total IMF reached 12
nT at 23/2116Z. The maximum southward component of Bz was -8.8 nT at
23/2112Z. These values coincided with the arrival of an interplanetary
shock at ACE around 23/2112Z from the 20 Nov CME. The greater than 2
MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached a maximum of 1408 pfu.


IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: Geomagnetic field activity is
expected to begin at active levels and reach major storm levels early on
day one (24 Nov) with the effects from the 20 Nov CME coupled with the
anticipated arrival of the 21 Nov CME.
On day two (25 Nov), conditions
are expected to return to unsettled to active levels due to residual CME
effects combined with a coronal hole high speed stream. The unsettled
levels may persist into day three (26 November).


III. Event probabilities 24 Nov-26 Nov
Class M 20/20/20
Class X 05/05/05
Proton 01/01/01
PCAF green


IV. Penticton 10.7 cm Flux
Observed 23 Nov 126
Predicted 24 Nov-26 Nov 125/120/115
90 Day Mean 23 Nov 123


V. Geomagnetic A Indices
Observed Afr/Ap 22 Nov 001/001
Estimated Afr/Ap 23 Nov 005/007
Predicted Afr/Ap 24 Nov-26 Nov 023/090-013/018-006/005


VI. Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 24 Nov-26 Nov
A. Middle Latitudes
Active 35/30/05
Minor Storm 30/15/01
Major-severe storm 10/05/01
B. High Latitudes
Active 10/15/15
Minor Storm 20/30/10
Major-severe storm 65/50/05
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
64. MAweatherboy1
9:25 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
The geomagnetic storm has been very slow to get going but the Bz is turning negative and solar wind has come up some so it could be starting.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
63. MAweatherboy1
1:10 PM GMT on November 23, 2012
No signs of the CMEs yet, impacts should start soon though, we'll be watching for the usual factors, a negative Bz and increased solar wind.

This will update:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
62. MAweatherboy1
10:55 PM GMT on November 22, 2012
G2 Geomagnetic storm watch goes into effect very soon:



Space Weather Message Code: WATA30
Serial Number: 99
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 21 2207 UTC

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted
Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Nov 22: None (Below G1) Nov 23: G2 (Moderate) Nov 24: G1 (Minor)
THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
61. MAweatherboy1
10:50 PM GMT on November 22, 2012
I hope everyone had/ is having a great Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by ycd and Barefoot!

1618 quieted abruptly today. It decayed very fast and while it remains large it is no longer a solar flare threat. The damage is done, however, as multiple CMEs are on the way, scheduled to begin affecting us tonight or tomorrow morning. The SWPC daily report does a good job covering it:

Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
UPDATED Nov 22 2200 UTC

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
SDF Number 327 Issued at 2200Z on 22 Nov 2012


IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 21/2100Z to
22/2100Z: Solar activity has been at low levels for the past 24 hours.
The largest solar event of the period was a C2 event observed at
21/2116Z from Region 1618 (N08W13). Although this region retains weak
beta-gamma-delta magnetic characteristics, it has experienced
intermediate penumbral decay. All other regions on the disk remain
fairly stable. There are currently 5 numbered sunspot regions on the
disk.

IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at low
levels on days one, two, and three (23 Nov, 24 Nov, 25 Nov).


IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 21/2100Z to 22/2100Z: The geomagnetic
field has been at quiet levels for the past 24 hours. Solar wind speed,
as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of 417 km/s at
21/2303Z. Electrons greater than 2 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a
peak level of 1200 pfu.

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected
to begin the forecast period at mostly quiet levels until the arrival of
the 20 Nov CME midday on day one (23 Nov) when conditions are expected
to rise to active levels with a chance for minor storm periods.
Conditions have a chance for reaching major storm levels early on day
two (24 Nov) with the expected arrival of the 21 Nov CME. On day three
(25 Nov) conditions are expected to return to unsettled to active levels
due to CME combined with high speed stream effects.


III. Event probabilities 23 Nov-25 Nov
Class M 10/10/10
Class X 01/01/01
Proton 01/01/01
PCAF green
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
60. Barefootontherocks
6:59 PM GMT on November 22, 2012
Please keep up the good work.

Thankful to be Together on this fourth Thursday of November.

Happy Turkey Day

Can you put Humpty together? - click and drag pieces.





provided by flash-gear.com
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 147 Comments: 17478
59. ycd0108
2:41 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
MAweatherboy1:
Please keep the updates coming. I've been away from the home computer for a week and lost the travel iPod so I did not notice what you had up here till just now.
So you have at least one more reader - me.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4399
58. MAweatherboy1
2:15 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
1618 still looks very menacing, but it has been very quiet since this morning's M class flare. There's still plenty of potential for flares, and even if there aren't any more it's already produced multiple Earth directed CMEs that will bring geomagnetic storming Friday and Saturday.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
57. MAweatherboy1
11:16 PM GMT on November 21, 2012
Things are gonna get interesting in a couple days, a lot of people could be seeing auroras:

Space Weather Message Code: WATA30
Serial Number: 99
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 21 2207 UTC

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted
Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Nov 22: None (Below G1) Nov 23: G2 (Moderate) Nov 24: G1 (Minor)
THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
56. MAweatherboy1
10:02 PM GMT on November 21, 2012
Pretty quiet in the last couple hours. New SWPC daily report was just released:

Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
Updated 2012 Nov 21 2200 UTC


Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
SDF Number 326 Issued at 2200Z on 21 Nov 2012


IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 20/2100Z to
21/2100Z: Solar activity has been at moderate levels for the past 24
hours. The largest solar event of the period was an M3 event at 21/1530Z
from Region 1618 (N09E01) associated with Type IV and II radio sweeps
(estimated velocity of 1918 km/s), a 200 sfu Tenflare, and a CME. More
imagery is needed to determine the trajectory, however, it is expected
to be Earth-directed due to the location of the region. Region 1618 also
produced an M1/1n flare at 21/0656Z associated with Type IV and II radio
sweeps (estimated velocity of 720 km/s) and a CME. This CME appears to
have a slight Earthward component but the majority of ejecta is directed
Eastward as visible on imagery. Region 1618 developed into a
beta-gamma-delta magnetic configuration. A filament eruption occurred
between 20/2305Z to 21/0200Z at around N27E17 with a 14 degree
heliographic extent. This filament eruption does not appear to have a
CME associated with it. There are currently 5 numbered sunspot regions
on the disk.

IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at
moderate with a chance for high levels on days one, two, and three (22
Nov, 23 Nov, 24 Nov). Region 1618 is expected to produce M-class flares.
A chance for an isolated X-class flare exists for this region.


IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 20/2100Z to 21/2100Z: The geomagnetic
field has been at quiet to unsettled levels for the past 24 hours. Solar
wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of
488 km/s at 21/0307Z. Total IMF reached 7 nT at 20/2228Z. The maximum
southward component of Bz reached -6.4 nT at 20/2350Z. Electrons greater
than 2 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 857 pfu.

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected
to be at quiet to unsettled levels on day one (22 Nov). On day two (23
Nov) conditions are expected to increase to unsettled to minor storm
levels with a chance for major storm levels due to the arrival of 21 and
22 Nov CMEs. Conditions are expected to decrease to unsettled to active
with a chance for minor storm levels on day three (24 Nov) with CME
effects combined with a favorably positioned coronal hole. A chance for
a proton event exists on days one, two, and three (22 Nov, 23 Nov, 24
Nov) due to a chance of high solar flare activity and a favorable
position of Region 1618.


III. Event probabilities 22 Nov-24 Nov
Class M 70/70/70
Class X 30/30/30
Proton 30/30/30
PCAF green


IV. Penticton 10.7 cm Flux
Observed 21 Nov 140
Predicted 22 Nov-24 Nov 140/135/135
90 Day Mean 21 Nov 122


V. Geomagnetic A Indices
Observed Afr/Ap 20 Nov 010/013
Estimated Afr/Ap 21 Nov 007/008
Predicted Afr/Ap 22 Nov-24 Nov 010/012-023/030-014/020


VI. Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 22 Nov-24 Nov
A. Middle Latitudes
Active 20/35/40
Minor Storm 05/30/20
Major-severe storm 01/10/05
B. High Latitudes
Active 20/10/10
Minor Storm 30/20/25
Major-severe storm 25/65/60
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
55. MAweatherboy1
4:47 PM GMT on November 21, 2012
Strongest flare yet from 1618 in the past hour or so, M 3.5 this time, that region is almost directly facing us, strong eruptions remain possible, if not likely, for the next 1-3 days.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
54. MAweatherboy1
11:38 AM GMT on November 21, 2012
1618 produced an M class flare last night, and it produced a CME. The SWPC expects minor geomagnetic storm conditions because of this in a few days. This is very preliminary as more analysis of the situation needs to be done.

Space Weather Message Code: WATA20
Serial Number: 504
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 21 0636 UTC

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 Predicted
Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Nov 22: None (Below G1) Nov 23: None (Below G1) Nov 24: G1 (Minor)
THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
53. MAweatherboy1
11:11 PM GMT on November 20, 2012
Just had a fairly minor C4 class event, with Sunspot 1611 being the source this time. It has certainly become more active today as it produced an M class flare earlier. It is out of Earth view at this point, however, and X ray detectors won't be picking up on activity from it for much longer. Too bad we can't see it as it's likely undergone some interesting structural changes today.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
52. MAweatherboy1
10:05 PM GMT on November 20, 2012
Daily SWPC report is out- they now put the chance for an M class flare in the next 24 hours at 70%, which is very high. There is also a 15% chance of an X class flare, which is also pretty impressive. 1618 would be the likely source for any events.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
51. MAweatherboy1
8:24 PM GMT on November 20, 2012
The geomagnetic field is a little unsettled this afternoon. KP index has reached 4.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK04
Serial Number: 1620
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 20 2004 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 4
Threshold Reached: 2012 Nov 20 1958 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1800-2100 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 65 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes such as Canada and Alaska.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
50. MAweatherboy1
7:56 PM GMT on November 20, 2012
Very interesting day on the Sun today. Out of nowhere, sunspot 1611, which is about to rotate out of Earth view, produced an M class flare this morning. This will not affect Earth. A large CME was produced later due to an eruption around 1619, which remains an impressive region after its rapid growth a few days ago... this CME does not appear very Earth directed. Finally, just now, 1618 has finally broken its silence and produced a near M2 class flare. 1618 is getting close to being directly lined up with us. Any CME produced from this flare would likely be at least somewhat Earth directed, and any CMEs produced in the next 2 days are very likely to be directed at us.

X ray chart:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
49. MAweatherboy1
11:40 AM GMT on November 20, 2012
1618 has become a dominating region this morning; Background X-ray levels are at the C1 level, which is very high. No noteworthy flares yet, but that could easily change as there is a tremendous amount of energy stored within this spot's tangled magnetic fields.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
48. MAweatherboy1
2:18 AM GMT on November 20, 2012
The event appears to have peaked, see comment 5's X-ray chart.



It'll take a little while to know if a CME was produced; if it was it's possible it will be somewhat Earth directed, but since 1618 isn't quite lined up with us yet a direct hit seems unlikely. Future CMEs could be different though as 1618 is constantly getting closer to the center of the Sun.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
47. MAweatherboy1
2:09 AM GMT on November 20, 2012
A rather odd, long duration solar flare is currently occurring around 1618. It's only moderate C class strength right now and could end at any second, but it's interesting. Long duration event often produce CMEs, even when the events aren't that strong, so it's something to watch.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
46. MAweatherboy1
10:04 PM GMT on November 19, 2012
Not much to speak about regarding the Sun today; 1619 is no longer growing and remains stable. 1618 is more interesting, however, as it continues to grow and has a magnetic field capable of producing M class solar flares. Because of this, SWPC has raised the chance of an M class flare in the next 24 hours to 30%, with a low 5% chance of an X class flare.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
45. MAweatherboy1
12:01 AM GMT on November 19, 2012
Beautiful CME leaving the Sun right now in association with an earlier prominence eruption, it should not be directed at us:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
44. MAweatherboy1
7:15 PM GMT on November 18, 2012
Quick update: Still watching 1619 as it continues to grow, albeit it's growth certainly appears to have slowed down. It's been fairly quiet with the exception of that one C class flare earlier. I'm also watching sunspot 1618, located on the eastern/central portion of the Sun. 1618 is a very large region from end to end, several times the size of Earth and longer than even 1619. It doesn't have much in the way of dark cores or large individual spots though, just a lot of little ones making up the one sunspot. It did produce a low level C class flare earlier though and it is growing so I'll be keeping an eye on it.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
43. MAweatherboy1
2:12 PM GMT on November 18, 2012
1619 produced a fairly mild C4.3 solar flare an hour or so ago, not really that big of a deal but it indicates the area is now capable of producing flares. I wouldn't be too surprised if we see an M class event out of it today.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
42. MAweatherboy1
11:45 AM GMT on November 18, 2012
The sunspot I noted yesterday, now numbered 1619, has continued growth at a very impressive rate, see comment 41- 1619 is the large region near the center of the Sun. So far no major flares but if it keeps growing something's bound to happen. Due to its location near the center of the Sun any CMEs produced by flares from this region in the next 1-3 days would almost certainly be squarely directed at us.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
41. MAweatherboy1
3:46 PM GMT on November 17, 2012
I'm watching a fast growing sunspot to the SSE of 1616. It was barely visible yesterday morning:



However it has been growing quite rapidly and is now larger than the shrinking 1616... it wasn't even large enough to number yesterday evening so we'll have to wait for this evening until it is officially classified:



Still too small and simple to produce solar flares but this is very similar to what happened to 1613 last week. 1613 is the spot on the south side of the Sun, and is nowhere near as complex as it was when it produced numerous M class flares last week. No other things of note on the Sun right now. Very low risk of flares today, slight chance of a C class event from 1614, and possibly the new region if it keeps growing.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
40. MAweatherboy1
9:51 PM GMT on November 14, 2012
Solar activity has returned to quiet. The geomagnetic storm has fully subsided. In addition, all the major spots on the surface of the Sun have shown decay today, so there is little risk of more than some C class flares.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
39. MAweatherboy1
11:33 AM GMT on November 14, 2012
We ended up with an extended moderate geomagnetic storm last night. Really came out of nowhere. Shows how unpredictable these things are:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
38. MAweatherboy1
1:53 AM GMT on November 14, 2012
If you're in northern Maine as well as much of Canada, it's worth a shot to take a look outside:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
37. MAweatherboy1
1:39 AM GMT on November 14, 2012
SWPC is now expecting minor storm conditions tonight, Bz remains way negative.

Space Weather Message Code: WARK05
Serial Number: 816
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 14 0055 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
Valid From: 2012 Nov 14 0100 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Nov 14 0600 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
36. MAweatherboy1
12:24 AM GMT on November 14, 2012
Though solar wind is not high, Bz is way negative right now. I'd put the odds at 40% that we reach minor storm levels, though those odds are increasing as the Bz continues to fall further negative.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
35. MAweatherboy1
11:16 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
The geomagnetic field is having a tough time settling down after yesterday's unsettled period. Bz has been fairly sharply negative for the last couple hours. I wouldn't even rule out some brief minor storm conditions if that persists.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
34. MAweatherboy1
10:01 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
Updated 2012 Nov 13 2200 UTC


Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
SDF Number 318 Issued at 2200Z on 13 Nov 2012


IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 12/2100Z to
13/2100Z: Solar activity has been at high levels for the past 24 hours.
Region 1613 (S23E31) has developed a Delta magnetic configuration and
produced multiple M-class flares with associated CMEs. The largest solar
event of the period was a M6 event observed at 13/0204Z from Region
1613. Regions 1610 (S24W23) and 1611 (N12W00) have Beta Gamma magnetic
configurations. There are currently 6 numbered sunspot regions on the
disk. No CMEs observed during the period are expected to be
geoeffective.

IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at
moderate levels on days one, two, and three (14 Nov, 15 Nov, 16 Nov).


IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 12/2100Z to 13/2100Z: The geomagnetic
field has been at quiet to active levels for the past 24 hours. Solar
wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of
504 km/s at 13/0111Z. Total IMF reached 22.8 nT at 13/0053Z. The maximum
southward component of Bz reached -19.5 nT at 12/2338Z. ACE data
indicated a shock arrival at 12/2216Z. A sudden impulse was observed at
12/2316Z (16 nT, as measured by the Boulder USGS magnetometer).

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected
to begin at active levels early on day 1 (14 Nov) as CME effects
subside. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected on days 1 and 2 (14, 15
Nov) due to effects from a negative polarity coronal hole high speed
stream. On day 3 (16 Nov), conditions are expected to return to mostly
quiet levels. Protons have a slight chance of reaching alert threshold
on days one, two, and three (14 Nov, 15 Nov, 16 Nov).


III. Event probabilities 14 Nov-16 Nov
Class M 65/65/65
Class X 15/15/15
Proton 10/10/10
PCAF green


IV. Penticton 10.7 cm Flux
Observed 13 Nov 146
Predicted 14 Nov-16 Nov 150/150/160
90 Day Mean 13 Nov 118


V. Geomagnetic A Indices
Observed Afr/Ap 12 Nov 004/004
Estimated Afr/Ap 13 Nov 014/016
Predicted Afr/Ap 14 Nov-16 Nov 008/010-007/008-006/005


VI. Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 14 Nov-16 Nov
A. Middle Latitudes
Active 20/20/05
Minor Storm 05/05/01
Major-severe storm 01/01/01
B. High Latitudes
Active 20/20/15
Minor Storm 30/30/10
Major-severe storm 25/25/05
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
33. MAweatherboy1
9:36 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
The interesting thing is that 1613 really doesn't look like a very threatening region right now. 1610, 1611, and 1614 all appear bigger and more apt to produce flares. And yet, they are all quiet while 1613 has produced 4 M class flares in 24 hours.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
32. MAweatherboy1
9:31 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
Well, it was quiet, but 1613 just woke back up and fired off an M2 class flare. Daily SWPC report will be out in a half hour.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
31. MAweatherboy1
7:55 PM GMT on November 13, 2012
Good afternoon. No major activity today, we appear to have returned to the quiet that has dominated much of this year.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
30. MAweatherboy1
11:36 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Good morning. Just a quick recap of last night's activity: 1613 produced 1 more M class flare not long after the second one. Since then it has produced a few C class flares but seems to generally be on a quieting trend.

We never reached minor geomagnetic storm levels last night- close, but not quite.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
29. MAweatherboy1
2:40 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
I'm out for the night- hate to go to bed so early but I'm still recovering from a cold I got last week and need to get some good sleep. I'll give a summary of the night's event in the morning. Feel free to post anything of interest.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
28. MAweatherboy1
2:35 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Here's an aurora graph for tonight, anywhere highlighted in green should be on the lookout. This is a test product and aurora's are very hard to predict however, so this should be used as a very general guideline:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
27. MAweatherboy1
2:26 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Already a moderate (R2) radio blackout is in progress because of that flare. The one earlier brought us into a minor R1 blackout.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTXMF
Serial Number: 184
Issue Time: 2012 Nov 13 0206 UTC

ALERT: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5
Threshold Reached: 2012 Nov 13 0204 UTC
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate
Potential Impacts: Area of impact centered on sub-solar point on the sunlit side of Earth. Extent of blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication dependent upon current X-ray Flux intensity. For real-time information on affected area and expected duration please see http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/drap/index.html.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
26. MAweatherboy1
2:21 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Wow, what a beautiful image... 1613 clearly confirmed as the source here:



It's amazing that in just 12 hours 1613 has went from being a negligible region in the midst of several larger, seemingly more interesting spots, to a hyper-active region capable of producing back to back M flares like that. Earth better hope this thing quiets down or falls apart in the next 2-3 days or we could be in trouble.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291
25. MAweatherboy1
2:15 AM GMT on November 13, 2012
Waiting on a new X ray image to come in to confirm the source of the M6 flare.

In the meantime, no new news to report with tonight's potential geomagnetic storm, still no major effects.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7291

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About MAweatherboy1

Just an average 18 year old weather nerd. I work as an observer at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in Milton, MA.