We first reported on this possibility a few days ago.

On Feb. 12th, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2699 exploded–for more than 6 hours. The slow-motion blast produced a C1-class solar flare and hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observtory (SOHO) shows the CME leaving the sun:

The CME could arrive as early as today, although Feb 15th is more likely. NOAA forecasters say there is a 60% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms with isolated periods of stronger G2 storming.

The effectiveness of the CME could be enhanced by a stream of solar wind that was already en route to Earth when the sunspot exploded. The solar wind is flowing from a large wedge-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere. If the approaching CME sweeps up material from that stream, snowplow-style, it could strike Earth’s magnetic field with extra mass and potency.

Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives. If the coming storm intensifies to category G2, observers in northern-tier US states from Maine to Washington could see auroras as well. Stay tuned for updates.

Story via NASA’s

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Crispin in Waterloo
February 14, 2018 10:41 am

Lovely video. I will look for the Northern lights over Waterloo.

John harmsworth
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 14, 2018 10:47 am

Don’t go outside without checking to see if there’s CO2!

Harvey Zehr Jr
Reply to  John harmsworth
February 14, 2018 11:41 am

Love it!

Reply to  John harmsworth
February 14, 2018 12:45 pm

Just play it, trust me:

Reply to  John harmsworth
February 14, 2018 7:23 pm

“Walter Sobchak February 14, 2018 at 11:21 am

Hey, Walter, any particular reason you want to know where Crispin lives?
It might be best to Just accept that Crispin might get to see some auroras.
PS Thanks a brief world tour of waterloos.
Once when sent to Brussels on development for a standards document(s), several co-workers eagerly decided to visit Waterloo.
No, they were not history enthusiasts.
After they managed to convince a cabbie to take them and rode off; John Wells, a Belgian leading the group commented that he didn’t know why they insisted on going, “there’s virtually nothing there.”
It’s not as though any significant battle was fought at Waterloo.
They dragged themselves back several hours later, grumbling about the cost for the taxi’s ride to Waterloo.
[Odd reaction. The mod spent a full day in the museum underground the battlefield of Waterloo, and hours the day before tracing the movements of the armies before and after the battle. Seems a Belgium who does think nothing interesting is there might live to be re-conquered several times in the future. .mod]

Reply to  John harmsworth
February 15, 2018 5:42 am

From Wiki:,_Belgium
The placename is of Brabantian Dutch origin. The first element is most likely water, but it should be understood locally as “wet”. The second element is lo(o), an ancient word for “forest” or “clearing in a forest”, coming from the Latin words lucus (forest) or lucum (clearing in a forest), or Common Germanic lauh- (Frankish lēah), cognate with the English placename suffix -ley. The early settlement was located on a marshy clearing in the Sonian Forest.
If someone in my country doesn’t know what has happened in Waterloo, he forgot that he once was in elementary school, as that is part of every history book and school excursion, at least in my youth… If Napoleon wasn’t defeated then, most of Europe would now be part of France…

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 14, 2018 11:21 am

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Waterloo most commonly refers to:
Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat
Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium from which the battle took its name
Waterloo in popular culture, the notion of ultimate or final defeat
Waterloo may also refer to:
King George Island or Waterloo, one of the South Shetland Islands
Waterloo, New South Wales
Waterloo, Queensland, a locality in the Bundaberg Region
Waterloo, South Australia
Waterloo, Victoria
Waterloo, Western Australia
Waterloo, Nova Scotia
Regional Municipality of Waterloo, a region in Ontario
Waterloo, Ontario, a city
Waterloo (electoral district)
Waterloo, Quebec
Hong Kong
Waterloo Road, Kowloon
New Zealand
Waterloo, New Zealand
Sierra Leone
Waterloo, Sierra Leone
United Kingdom
Waterloo Memorial, another name for Wellington’s Column in Liverpool
Waterloo Bridge, London
Waterloo, Caerphilly
Waterloo, Dorset
Waterloo, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Waterloo, London, a district of London
Waterloo, North Lanarkshire, a suburb of Wishaw
Waterloo, Perth and Kinross
Waterloo Road, London
Waterloo, Merseyside
Waterloo (UK Parliament constituency)
Waterloo Monument, a 150-foot memorial to the battle in the Scottish Borders
Waterlooville, Hampshire
United States
Waterloo, Alabama
Waterloo, California
Waterloo, Illinois
Waterloo Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
Waterloo, Indiana, in DeKalb County
Waterloo, Fayette County, Indiana
Waterloo, Johnson County, Indiana
Waterloo, Iowa
Waterloo, Kansas
Waterloo, Louisiana
Waterloo (Princess Anne, Maryland), a 1750 historic home in Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland
Waterloo State Recreation Area, a state park in Michigan
Waterloo, Clark County, Missouri, an unincorporated community
Waterloo, Lafayette County, Missouri, an unincorporated community
Waterloo, Montana
Waterloo, Nebraska
Waterloo, New Hampshire
Waterloo Historic District (Warner, New Hampshire)
Waterloo, Monmouth County, New Jersey
Waterloo Village, New Jersey
Waterloo, Luna County, New Mexico, a ghost town
Waterloo (town), New York
Waterloo (village), New York
Waterloo (Albertson, North Carolina), NRHP-listed in Duplin County
Waterloo, Ohio
Waterloo, Oregon
Waterloo, South Carolina
Waterloo, Texas (former name for Austin, Texas)
Waterloo, Clarke County, Virginia
Waterloo, Fauquier County, Virginia
Waterloo, New Kent County, Virginia
Waterloo, West Virginia
Waterloo, Grant County, Wisconsin, a town
Waterloo, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, a town
Waterloo, Wisconsin, a city within the town of Waterloo in Jefferson County
Waterloo Downtown Historic District, NRHP-listed in Jefferson County

Bryan A
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Looks like the world has met it’s Waterloo

charles nelson
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 12:34 pm

Waterloo by Abba?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 1:26 pm

Water Lou, drip drip drip by Spike Jones

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 1:35 pm

You can’t have too many Waterloos.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 2:20 pm

In the UK ain’t “loo” (contraction of Waterloo?) slang for the privy? James Joyce in “Ulysses” (1922) penned: “O yes, mon loup. How much cost? Waterloo. Water closet.” Hey?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 14, 2018 5:11 pm

Waterloo (Station) – one of London’s main train termini handling the southern region.
Waterloo (Sunset) a famous hit song by the Kinks..

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 15, 2018 3:01 am

You forgot Waterloo Water Park in San Diemas California. Bill and Ted loved it.

February 14, 2018 10:47 am

What metrics/measurements are used to categorize/predict the effect of this CME when it reaches the earth?

February 14, 2018 10:51 am

Crispin: A C1 flare ( very small in relation to some others we saw in the last years, C means “common” and 1 is the lowest possible in this class) in this only very weak geoeffective position on the sun: Please don’t be too disappointed! An impressive Aurora in Waterloo is not very likely.

February 14, 2018 10:51 am

Sorry in advance for the off topic reply, but does it appear that La Nina is reorganizing just as it looked like it was over and going to continue through spring?

February 14, 2018 10:57 am

I sure wish there were a warmer/thicker atmosphere with more CO2 to protect us from this. 😉

February 14, 2018 11:13 am

Another Forebush decrease for Dr. Svensmark Results in cloud cover (lessening) in about 6 days, for a period of about a week.

February 14, 2018 11:24 am

This morning I needed to scan for my favourite radio station 2GB when using my daughters car. Instead of the usual dozen stations there were hundreds of them, mostly crackly. Weird. Could this be caused by the storm?

Reply to  twojay54
February 14, 2018 11:48 am

It’s a little surprising. You would expect the ionosphere to be thickened and improve skip propagation for short wave and vhf. 2GB is AM broadcast band and skip isn’t as important.

Reply to  commieBob
February 14, 2018 12:28 pm

My experience is AM broadcast radio is about 1 meg herz, and I got best skip in winter when ionosphere layer was high. So wavelength pretty long compared to most “ham” freqs and orders of magnitude compared with cell phones, sat tv, gps, radar.
Built my first radio as a ten year old in 1953. Simple crystal doofer but then transistors came out next year and things got really neat, although most stuff still used tubes.
Gums sends…

Ted Midd
Reply to  commieBob
February 14, 2018 1:07 pm

While groundwave is the most important propogation path for Medium wave, propogation by ionospheric pathway is still significant.

Ted Midd
Reply to  commieBob
February 14, 2018 1:08 pm

Gums: actually from about 550khz to 1.9Mhz.

Reply to  twojay54
February 14, 2018 1:49 pm

I’m just down the road from Crispin in Waterloo. The AM reception in my car (the only AM receiver I use any more) was unremarkable when I tried it a while ago.
Some things occur to me:
The radio in your daughter’s car may be unfamiliar to you and not behave the way you expect.
Atmospheric conditions (independent of the ionosphere) can affect AM broadcast band propagation. link You could actually be receiving signals that you wouldn’t normally receive.
We’re on opposite sides of the planet. Propagation conditions are probably different.
Having said all the above, I still don’t think the reception you experienced was due to the CME.

February 14, 2018 11:53 am

Yawn. Wake me when a world ending cataclysm is imminent.

Bryan A
Reply to  SMC
February 14, 2018 12:20 pm

Don’t worry, If you miss it, the News is sure to have the film at 11

Reply to  SMC
February 14, 2018 2:34 pm

In the film “White Hunter, Black Heart” (1990) Clint Eastwood plays director John Huston in Africa to shoot “The African Queen”. Huston and the crew’s bush pilot conspire to scare the bejeezus out of a young screenwriter. The pilot pretends to barely be able to control the airplane. Huston yawns, pulls his hat down over his eyes, and tells the screenwriter “I’m going to catch some shut-eye, kid. But be sure to wake me up if we’re about to crash. I sure wouldn’t want to miss that!”

CC Reader
February 14, 2018 11:57 am

I like the site ““ for solar flair information. The lower right side is a day by day summery of solar activity.

charles nelson
February 14, 2018 12:32 pm

Wouldn’t Antarctic sky watchers get an even better show?

February 14, 2018 2:13 pm

“Solar Death Ray Aimed At Earth! Women And Children Hardest Hit.”

Reply to  brians356
February 15, 2018 12:07 am

Few years back local feminists tried to bring forth a tragedy that hit hardest young women in Finland in 1945. There was not enough men to marry, so some young women chose to marry older veterans of war that often had serious mental issues in addition to being violent.
So to put it blunt, the news was basically ‘a lot of young men dead, women and children hardest hit’
I don’t know if they ever realized the irony.

February 14, 2018 2:40 pm
Albert Brand
February 14, 2018 5:25 pm

I visit the Russian web site for my solar information as it is quite comprehensive and updated regularly.
Albert Brand

February 14, 2018 10:00 pm

At home, there is a reliable way to tell when the CME hits your neighborhood.
All the refrigerator magnets fall off.

February 14, 2018 10:07 pm

Are we doomed, then?

February 14, 2018 11:20 pm

The article headline should be “Sunspot zit pops, nothing burger for Earth”. Journalists used to get paid for worthwhile nse, now they get paid by the click, so the more incredulous their story, the better. Facts, not so much.

Larry in Texas
February 15, 2018 12:06 am

Do I have to worry about my cell phone and electronics?

February 15, 2018 12:12 am

We need not worry about such sunbursts… it’s happened before & NASA put out this video a few years ago to explain how CO2 & NO in the upper atmosphere protect us, acting as a natural atmospheric thermostat. According to NASA, CO2 & NO are two natural efficient atmospheric coolants. Enjoy this video:

February 15, 2018 1:35 am

What would be the impact to power production if/when a Carrington event happens again? I Guess a well built FF/Nuke/Hydro power plant could survive, but what about solar or wind turbines?
( )

February 15, 2018 3:22 am

Scientists directly observe electron dynamics of the Northern Lights
Pulsating aurora, the origin of the blinking patches of light, is now directly observed by the ERG spacecraft. Electrons in the magnetosphere, which usually bounce along the geomagnetic field, are thought to be scattered by chorus waves, resulting in precipitation into the atmosphere. The intermittent bursts of chorus waves cause the pulsations of precipitation and associated auroral illumination. The ERG spacecraft showed that this electron scattering by chorus waves indeed takes place in the magnetosphere. Credit: 2018 ERG science team.

February 15, 2018 6:53 am

But…. but… what will this do for global warming?

February 15, 2018 7:39 am

Several technical questions:
– The sun is gaseous, but rotates rapidly (compared to the speed of the earth’s rotation around it) .
– The ejected gasses and particles are very fast, but slow compared to the 8 minutes that it takes light and radiation energy to reach earth’s orbit.
– Compared to all of the above, (the sun, gasses, ejected particles, or the light and energy radiation), the earth will appear stationary in space.
Assume you are looking “down” on to the solar system. Flare was filed at the edge of the sun’s image, so the actually trajectory of the ejected matter is near-perpendicular to the easrth’s current position on Feb 12. Those particles will miss the earth – this time.
But there is a near-circular “blast” around the base of the flare. Less matter, but that blast wave IS spherical and WILL hit the earth’s position in orbit regardless of where in orbit the earth is. How many fewer particles/energy are in the blast, compared to the matter in the flare itself? With the inverse square attenuation, will this blast matter, since the flare’s matter cannot hit us. (This time.)
If we can only “film” the flare because it was on the edge of the sun when the flare happened, can we sense a flare if it is directed at us when it would hit the earth?
The ejected matter mas mass (obviously) and was ejected over a matter of several hours (?)
or days. Because the sun is rotating so fast, the ejected matter will spread out and follow a “curved arc” as it travels out towards earth (like a garden spun slowly in a circle). How many days/hours will it take the majority of the flared mass to reach earth’s orbit?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
February 15, 2018 11:12 am

CME is arriving, so far not much to it.

February 15, 2018 10:07 am

For me, spectacular sky events, be they auroras, meteors, comets, whatever, are 9 times out of 10 met with a cloudy sky. Won’t see any of this and probably not the next one either.

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