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Recurrent CH HSS causing geomagnetic storming on Earth

recurrent-ch-hss-causing-geomagnetic-storming-on-earth

Our planet is passing through a stream of fast-moving, negative polarity solar wind. Geomagnetic storming reached G1 – Minor levels at 17:24 UTC. A G2 – Moderate warning is in effect for the rest of the UTC day.

This is a recurrent CH HSS, responsible for G3 – Strong geomagnetic storms during its previous rotation. Solar wind speeds in excess of 600 km/s were observed from this CH and similar conditions are expected during this rotation too.

Geomagnetic K-index of 5 (G1 – Minor geomagnetic storm) threshold was first reached at 17:24 UTC on April 2. Under G1 conditions, area of impact is primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Weak power grid fluctuations can occur. Minor impact on satellite operations is possible. Aurora can be visible at high latitudes.

SWPC forecasters expect G2 – Moderate level storming and the corresponding warning was issued at 18:34 UTC. A G2 warning is valid from 18:35 to 23:59 UTC on April 2. G3 – Strong levels are also possible.

Meanwhile, there is only one sunspot on the Earth-facing side of the Sun – Active Region 2526 (Alpha). This sunspot has a stable magnetic field and poses no threat for strong flares.

Sunspots on April 2, 2016. Image credit: NASA SDO/HMI

SWPC alerts

Space Weather Message Code: WARK06
Serial Number: 326
Issue Time: 2016 Apr 02 1834 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected
Valid From: 2016 Apr 02 1835 UTC
Valid To: 2016 Apr 02 2359 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

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.

***

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK05
Serial Number: 946
Issue Time: 2016 Apr 02 1726 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2016 Apr 02 1724 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1500-1800 UTC

Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 – Minor

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation

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.

Featured image: Probability of visible aurora at 19:05 UTC on April 2, 2016. Credit: NOAA/SWPC

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