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Highlights of solar and geomagnetic activity: May 2 – 8, 2022

Highlights of solar and geomagnetic activity: May 2 - 8, 2022

Solar activity ranged from low to high levels from May 2 to 8, 2022. In total, the Sun produced 79 C-class solar flares, 8 M-class, and 1 X-class. Over the past 30 days, 35 M-class flares were produced and 4 X-class.

High levels were observed on May 3 and 4 in response to an X1/Sf flare (R3-Strong) at 13:08 on May 3 UTC, an M5 flare (R2-Moderate) at 00:19 UTC on May 4, and an M5/1b flare at 09:00 UTC on May 4.

The X-flare and first M-Flare were produced by Region 3006 (S29, L=245, class/area=Cao/080 on May 7) as it was behind the SE limb. The last M5 flare was from Region 3004 (S16, L=324, class/area=Dkc/500 on May 5). Associated with the M5 flare from Region 3006 was a Type IV radio sweep.

Both regions produced moderate activity from smaller M1-M2 flares (R1-Minor) over May 5. Only C-class activity was observed on May 2 and from May 6 to 8.

The two regions were responsible for the vast majority of flare activity during the week. Only Region 3007 (S23, L=190, class/area=Cao/060 on May 8) was able to produce additional flare activity but the events remained in the C-class range.

While many CMEs were observed in coronagraph imagery only two, one from May 3 and one from May 7, were thought to have an Earth-directed component.

Each CME was thought to only produce a weak glancing blow at Earth’s magnetosphere on May 8 and 10, respectively.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit during the period.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels every day over the reporting period due to activity from a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS).

The maximum observed flux was 2 320 pfu at 13:40 UTC on May 3.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to unsettled. A waning negative polarity CH HSS caused an isolated period of unsettled conditions at the beginning of May 2. The remainder of the summary period was quiet.

Forecast of solar and geomagnetic activity May 9 – June 4, 2022

Solar activity is expected to be at mostly low levels during the outlook period. However, there is a slight chance for M-class (R1-R2 Minor-Moderate) activity throughout the period due to multiple regions currently on the visible disk and several that are expected to rotate back onto the visible disk that produced M-class activity before rotating beyond the W limb.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to range from moderate to high levels. High levels are expected from May 26 to June 4 due to the influence of a recurrent, negative polarity CH HSS.

The remainder of the outlook period is expected to reach moderate levels.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels.

G1 conditions are likely on May 24; active conditions are likely on May 20 and from May 25 to 27 due to recurrent CH HSS influence.

Unsettled conditions over May 10 and 11 are likely due to the influence of a glancing blow CME.

Additional unsettled conditions are likely on May 21 and 28 due to recurrent CH HSS influence.

The remainder of the outlook period is likely to be mostly quiet.

Reference:

Weekly Highlights and Forecasts – Issued 2022 May 09 0232 UTC – Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-16, The Watchers

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