Space Weather Observations, Alerts, and Forecast

3-day Solar-Geophysical Forecast issued Jun 05 22:00 UTC

Solar Activity Forecast:
Solar activity is expected to remain very low with only a slight chance for an isolated C-class flare.

Geophysical Activity Forecast:
The geomagnetic field is expected to remain mostly quiet with isolated periods of unsettled conditions on day 1 (6 June) due to elevated solar wind speeds and brief periods of Bz south. Quiet to unsettled with intermittent periods of active conditions are expected on days 2 and 3 (7-8 June). The increase in activity is due in part to weak coronal hole effects expected on 7 June as well as the possible arrival of a slow moving CME on 8 June. The CME is from a filament that disappeared on 3 June. A weak halo can be observed on LASCO C3 coronagraph images from early 4 June as well as STEREO A and B coronagraphs from the same period.

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SOHO EIT 284 image of the sun
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Latest Mauna Loa image of the Sun

The sun is constantly monitored for sun spots and coronal mass ejections. EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstrom the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171 Angstrom, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin, 284 Angstrom to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.

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Solar Cycle Progression
Graph showing current solar cycle progression
Solar Cycle chart updated using the latest ISES predictions.
Real-Time Solar Wind
Graph showing Real-Time Solar Wind
Real-Time Solar Wind data broadcast from NASA's ACE satellite.

The Solar Cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the Sun. Solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. Solar maximum is expected to occur in May, 2013.

Solar X-ray Flux
Graph showing Real-Time Solar X-ray Flux
This plot shows 3-days of 5-minute solar x-ray flux values measured on the SWPC primary and secondary GOES satellites.
Satellite Environment Plot
Graph showing Real-Time Satellite Environment Plot
The Satellite Environment Plot combines satellite and ground-based data to provide an overview of the current geosynchronous satellite environment.

Auroral Activity Extrapolated from NOAA POES

Northern Hemi Auroral Map
Current Northern hemispheric power input map
Southern Hemi Auroral Map
Current Southern hemispheric power input map

Instruments on board the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) continually monitor the power flux carried by the protons and electrons that produce aurora in the atmosphere. SWPC has developed a technique that uses the power flux observations obtained during a single pass of the satellite over a polar region (which takes about 25 minutes) to estimate the total power deposited in an entire polar region by these auroral particles. The power input estimate is converted to an auroral activity index that ranges from 1 to 10.

3 Day Report of Solar & Geophysical Activity

Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.

Updated 2014 Apr 18 2200 UTC

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
SDF Number 108 Issued at 2200Z on 18 Apr 2014

IA.  Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 17/2100Z to
18/2100Z: Solar activity reached high levels. Region 2036 (S16W41,
Dhc/beta-gamma) produced an M7 flare at 18/1303 UTC, which was the
largest flare of the period. It was accompanied by a Tenflare (1000
sfu), a Castelli-U signature, as well as Type II (851 km/s) and Type IV
radio emissions.  An asymmetric halo CME was subsequently observed in
SOHO/LASCO C2 coronagraph imagery at 18/1325 UTC. Analysis suggested the
ejecta was moving at approximately 1000 km/s and Earth-directed.

IB.  Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is likely to be moderate
with a slight chance for an X-class flare on days one, two, and three
(19 Apr, 20 Apr, 21 Apr).

IIA.  Geophysical Activity Summary 17/2100Z to 18/2100Z: 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 540 km/s at
18/1845Z. Total IMF reached 9 nT at 18/0207Z. The maximum southward
component of Bz reached -8 nT at 18/0243Z. Protons greater than 10 MeV
at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 38 pfu at 18/1955Z.

IIB.  Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected
to be at quiet to active levels on day one (19 Apr) and quiet to minor
storm levels on days two and three (20 Apr, 21 Apr) with a chance for
major storm levels on day two (20 Apr). Protons are expected to remain
above the 10 pfu threshold on day one (19 Apr), are expected to cross
threshold on day two (20 Apr) and have a chance of crossing threshold on
day three (21 Apr).

III.  Event probabilities 19 Apr-21 Apr
Class M    60/60/60
Class X    10/10/10
Proton     99/75/50
PCAF       yellow

IV.  Penticton 10.7 cm Flux
Observed           18 Apr 172
Predicted   19 Apr-21 Apr 175/175/175
90 Day Mean        18 Apr 156

V.  Geomagnetic A Indices
Observed Afr/Ap 17 Apr  011/011
Estimated Afr/Ap 18 Apr  007/008
Predicted Afr/Ap 19 Apr-21 Apr  009/012-018/025-017/020

VI.  Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 19 Apr-21 Apr
A.  Middle Latitudes
Active                40/40/40
Minor Storm           15/35/25
Major-severe storm    01/10/05
B.  High Latitudes
Active                10/05/05
Minor Storm           25/20/20
Major-severe storm    55/75/60

Photo compliments of NOAA


Space Weather Images and Information (excluded from copyright) courtesy of: NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center, Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (HAO/NCAR), and SOHO (ESA & NASA).

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