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G5 – Extreme geomagnetic storm following strong CME impact

aurora in otago new zealand by andrew dickson may 11 lt 2024

The first set of several incoming coronal mass ejections (CMEs) impacted Earth at around 16:56 UTC on May 10, 2024, rapidly increasing geomagnetic field levels from unsettled to G4 – Severe by 17:44 and to G5 – Extreme by 23:34 UTC — something we haven’t seen since 2003.

A strong CME was registered in solar wind data beginning at around 16:35 UTC and reached Earth at 16:56 UTC, with a 108 nT deviation measured at the Boulder magnetometer. Following initial shock arrival, total field strength increased to a peak of 55 nT while Bz was sustained southward, by as much as -47 nT, after 16:45 UTC.

Solar wind speeds increased sharply to around 700 km/s following shock arrival, with a peak value of 741 km/s observed at 17:35 UTC. Conditions further enhanced later, with Bt reaching 74 nT, Bz deviating southward to near -50 nT, and solar winds peaking over 800 km/s.

The geomagnetic field rapidly increased from unsettled levels to G4, and eventually G5 – Severe geomagnetic storm levels following the CME arrival.

estimated-planetary-k-index may 11 2024
rtsw may 10 - 11 2024

Aurora sightings were widespread in both hemispheres, reaching as far south as Florida, U.S., and the Mediterranean Sea in Europe.

One of the first amazing images came out of New Zealand and Tasmania, described as ‘absolutely biblical.’

The last time Earth had a G5 – Extreme geomagnetic storm was in October 2003, resulting in power outages in Sweden and damaged transformers in South Africa.

Here’s a selection of some of the sightings across the world:

It’s likely this geomagnetic storm was caused by a Cannibal CME — when fast-moving CMEs overtake slower CMEs in front of them and merge into one. Forecast models suggest three of them merged into one yesterday. If so, we still have at least 3 more CMEs coming our way.

Solar researchers believe cannibal CMEs may be the source of ‘complex ejecta’ CME clouds; those with a larger and more complex structure than typical CMEs. These traits cause complex ejecta CMEs to trigger protracted magnetic storms when they envelop the Earth, according to NOAA.

wsa enlil model run 19utc may 10 2024 for 16z may10

According to SWPC forecasters, periods of G3 – Strong to G4 -Severe geomagnetic storms are expected on May 11 due to continued CME activity.

Periods of G1 – Minor to G2 – Moderate storming are likely on May 12 due to the anticipated arrival of at least two more halo CMEs associated with activity from Region 3664 on May 9 and 10, in addition to the onset of coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) influences.

Unsettled and active conditions are expected on May 12 due to waning CME influences and continued CH HSS influences.

For more information about increased solar activity over the past few days, visit:

You can follow space weather in near-real-time at SWX and follow us on X where we post all C+ solar flares and SWPC Alerts, Watches and Warnings.

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3 Comments

    1. Hey, Scott, just asking: What makes you think that this objective news source is throwing nonsense that is only “aimed at” or “meant for” shock value? They did their research and even show the links to other news sources to support the news they deliver. As far as one is concerned, they are only reporting on space weather affecting the Earth. The title of the article “G5 – Extreme geomagnetic storm following strong CME impact” is not away from the reality: it was extreme and did affect telecommunications in different parts of the world. If being objective and providing factual news that does not even go against the mainstream news media narrative is an issue for you, then why do you complain about it? You seem to believe that this is not possible. What will you believe in? CO2 is responsible for an aurora borealis or for an internet/energy blackout? If you are easily offended about everything, go check yourself with your local psychologist and get some help. One doesn’t like everything one sees or reads, but one must be glad that there are still reputable, honorable, and professional objective journalists left, like the ones on Watchers News, and one should be tolerant of others’ free speech, especially when it does not even have the intention of offending anyone. If you don’t like it, go and sit with Al Gore and his group of global warmers and create alarming, shock-value predictions like the Great Lakes drying up by 2020. That’s why they lost credibility. Have a good day, check on a psychologist, and accept that people have a right to free speech and professional scientific debate.

  1. These storms will increase the extraterrestrial energy at the earth’s interior. And, as a result the reversal process of earth’s magnetic field will speed-up and the stage of geological upheaval will get underway

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