Solar Flare Impacts Continue Through Satuday

Last Monday, the largest solar flare since December 2006 occurred.  This event disrupted HF communications and prompted a rerouting of air traffic near the poles.  According to the NWS Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), three waves of energy have now merged into a single G1, or minor, geomagnetic storm.  Another day or so of geomagnetic activity is expected.  Details can be found on the SWPC web site at:

The following information in this report was provided by the NWS Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colorado, with links to definitions and current activity taken from the SWPC website.

Key Points

  • There was an R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout x-ray burst Monday evening (856 pm EST, February 14) from the hot active region (NOAA 1158) on the solar disk, positioned head-on with Earth. An earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) accompanied this flare.
    • This x-ray flare was the largest in more than 4 years, since December 2006.
  • The active region had also produced an R2 (Moderate) Radio Blackout x-ray burst midday Sunday (1238 pm EST, February 13), also with an earth-directed CME.
    • That x-ray flare, when it occurred, was the largest in more than one year.
  • Currently, there are three earth-directed CMEs en route from the Sun, with the expected arrival of the first on Thursday, February 17.
  • Additional geomagnetic storming, possibly reaching the G2 (Moderate) level, is anticipated on Friday, February 18.
  • NOAA Region 1158 remains volatile and is likely to produce more flares/CMEs until it passes to the far side of the Sun on Sunday, February 20.
  • This activity punctuates the early phase of the new Solar Cycle 24.

  • A major airline has re-routed its aircraft away from the most northerly polar routes, in anticipation of disturbed space weather that may hamper vital communications.
  • Dayside High Frequency (HF) disruptions (on the side of the earth facing the sun) have been reported from the aforementioned radio blackout events.
  • Auroral activity may increase at higher latitudes by Wednesday or Thursday night, although the moon (which is full Thursday night) will make it more difficult to see any faint aurora.

Links for additional information


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