Three solar storms headed for Earth

NOAA forecasters say there is a 55% to 60% chance of geomagnetic storms on May 15th and 16th when a series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) could hit Earth’s magnetic field. Storm levels are expected to range between category G1 and G2. This means auroras could be sighted in northern-tier US states such as Montana, Minnesota, and upstate New York.

Three and possibly four CMEs are en route to Earth following a series of explosions near sunspot AR2741. The most potent so far occurred on May 12th when a filament of magnetism surrounding the sunspot became unstable and erupted. The blast zone was more than 200,000 km in diameter:

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May 13, 2019 11:31 pm
May 13, 2019 11:47 pm

It just has to be to do with CO2.


J Mac
May 14, 2019 12:14 am

I hope the weather is ‘clear’! It would be worth a drive up Snoqualmie pass to get a clear view of significant aurora. I saw an unforgettable display in central Wisconsin one summer night in the mid 1970s. The aurora were shimmering from the northern horizon south to almost directly overhead!

Reply to  J Mac
May 14, 2019 8:52 am

And the weather in my area is forecast to be cloudy for several more days! I never get to see the good stuff.

J Mac
Reply to  Sara
May 14, 2019 10:01 am

Aye, and more is the pity, Sara! Looks like overcast and drizzle here in the Great NorthWet for the next several days…

High Treason
Reply to  J Mac
May 14, 2019 4:39 pm

I would love you to take our daughter, who works at Microsoft up there to view an aurora. She whinges when I send her alerts, but I know she would go ape for an aurora. Perhaps you can wake her up on the climate change rubbish-she won’t listen to her parents or her grandfather, who is also extremely knowledgeable on climate fraud(retired chemistry professor who writes on climate change!!)

J Mac
Reply to  J Mac
May 14, 2019 9:58 pm

Ugh! Pouring rain tonight!

May 14, 2019 12:18 am

Oh no, I’ll have to spend the next few days cooped up in my Faraday cage again. I was hoping to do some gardening and make the best of the good weather.

Michael S. Kelly, LS BSA, Ret.
Reply to  Greg
May 14, 2019 12:35 am

Nah, these are mild enough that you could get by with a tin foil umbrella I think.

Tom Foley
May 14, 2019 12:34 am

I thought we were moving into a sunspot minimum in 2018, no, 2019, no, 2020, but certainly before 2030. (Lots of predictions on-line dating back to 2013).

What happened?

Reply to  Tom Foley
May 14, 2019 9:12 am

Trump’s fault

J Mac
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 14, 2019 10:03 am

Those predictions have always been a bit spotty….

May 14, 2019 1:00 am

Hemi power a good solid 84GW.
Was already KP6 last night but cloudy now at 7.33.

Hopefully we have clear skies tonight (that’s the forecast with a frost), so should get a nice display at 60N. (N Russia). Just what we were looking fwd to, before white nights makes it impossible.

“AuroraWatch Shetland status:
Red alert: strong aurora is likely”

May 14, 2019 1:15 am

The last “Hurrah” for Old Sol before going to sleep in the upcoming minimum!

Reply to  tomwys
May 14, 2019 1:40 am

“before going to sleep”

You know that means his output will plummet from 1366.5 down to 1365.5 W/m2. Strap yourself in.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Loydo
May 14, 2019 3:34 am

Over the entire earth surface?

Patrick the messenger
Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 14, 2019 1:43 pm

The hand of god is coming haha solar minimum.. I love sunspots! Haha

Reply to  tomwys
May 14, 2019 2:57 am

The solar minimum appears to have taken place already. Sunspots are on the increase since February and 10.6 cm flux has been increasing since November.

Year Month Adj. flux
2018 11 67.52
2018 12 67.86
2019 01 69.29
2019 02 68.86
2019 03 70.78
2019 04 72.95

So it is more like the first Hurrah after sleeping.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Javier
May 14, 2019 4:57 am

This is all SC24 activity. The F10.7 flux upticks are from those SC24 ARs.
SC 25 is still mia.
These 2 spots AR12740 and 12741 are the same spots from ARs just two Carrington rotations.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 14, 2019 5:47 am

Without high-latitude SC25 spots, it doeslook like the minimum happened last year.

Months to minimum after first three month average sunspot number under 20:

SC5 36
SC6 33
SC14 33
SC24 24*
SC23 22

*If the minimum hasn’t happened yet; SC24 could be 5-7 months shorter if it did.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 14, 2019 11:41 am

This data plot (current 1 May 2019) suggests we still have 10-14 months left of SC 24.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 14, 2019 11:42 am
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 14, 2019 1:48 pm

14 months would fine.
Some years ago (2012) I calculated the
SC 24/25 crossover i.e. forthcoming minimum towards the end of 2020, but might be few months out, as quoted in an interesting recent paper by G. Glenn on subject of ‘High Energy Gamma Rays etc …’
page 8/13.
(It may be of interest if the paper would be considered by the WUWT blog for a further discussion and no doubt some serious criticism, I believe that the author would be available to face the fire and respond to any reasonable question)

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 14, 2019 5:55 pm


If planetary alignment, aka barycentrism, is a factor in initiating major solar activity, the summer 2020 should be an interesting test.

All the planets, except Uranus, will essentially line up on roughly the same line to the sun next July 2020.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 15, 2019 8:43 am

The butterfly plot of active region locations, updated through Feb 2019, shows just one noteworthy high latitude spot for SC25 so far – ASFAIK there hasn’t been any since February either.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Javier
May 14, 2019 5:16 am


Have these increasing sun spots been at latitudes indicative of the beginning of cycle 25 or the end of cycle 24?

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 14, 2019 11:25 am

Magnetic field orientation is the final arbiter and these two spots are indisputably SC24
comment image

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  vukcevic
May 15, 2019 1:04 am

Vuk, please could you say a little more on how to interpret that diagram to show they are SC24? I am not disputing that they are, but I’d like a way that I can personally verify new SC25 spots.


Reply to  vukcevic
May 15, 2019 6:57 am

Hi Rich
Magnetic field orientation alternates between solar hemispheres and between odd and even cycles
Sunspots are associated with rise and fall of the solar toroidal magnetic field, and normally appear in pairs.
Direction of the magnetic field vector B in the northern hemisphere coincides with the direction of solar rotation (positive orientation, B>0) during even-numbered cycles, it is opposite for the southern hemisphere. Relationship
between direction of rotation and the magnetic field vector orientation is reversed during odd-numbered cycles (for the northern hemisphere B<0)
I hope that is of some help.
all the best Vuk

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  vukcevic
May 15, 2019 10:21 am

Thanks, yes; I’ve bookmarked the SDO page with an annotation describing the order of white and black.

May 14, 2019 2:42 am

Intense geomagnetic storm during Maunder minimum possibly by a quiescent filament eruption
It seems a quiet sun is no gurantee against giant flares.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  bonbon
May 14, 2019 5:00 am

These aren’t giant flares. Not even C class.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 14, 2019 10:47 am

Here’s a movie I made on Helioviewer.

[The mods STRONGLY recommend you add a comment defining what your video shows, what your comments and arguments are, how long it is, and what topic is being discussed. .mod]

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 14, 2019 12:16 pm


The movies that can be made directly from the SDO web site are much more impressive for AR 12741 two days ago event.
Create SDO movies here:
I particularly like the AIA 171 and the 211. The 211 Purple images show the coronal hole being blown open by the erupted filament structure quite nicely. That 24 hour segment is 05/12/2019 18:00 UTC to 05/13/2019 18:00 UTC.

Simultaneous with that SC 12741 filament rupture at 05/13/2019 15:01 UTC, two southern hemisphere small spots appeared. One at 27S 30E, and one closer to the new coronal hole at 22S 40W. These are SC25 features. NOAA has not yet tagged them and they may dissipate, but cool how they simultaneously formed in the hour or so after the big filament rupture that at 15:01 UTC. That eruption from the NH 12741 extended toabout 10S to 15 S, south of the solar equator.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 14, 2019 12:13 pm

UK noted severe GM storm ap above 100, one mobile phone operator went down for number of hours with lot of enraged users probably coincidence.

Bob Weber
May 14, 2019 5:13 am

The storm at G2, before reaching G3.

May 14, 2019 6:09 am

Rats – Upstate New York has been cloudy and rainy for several days in a row and the chances that it will break long enough to see anything are low.

Alan Robertson
May 14, 2019 6:38 am

“This means auroras could be sighted in northern-tier US states such as Montana, Minnesota, and upstate New York.” (emphasis added)
It’s almost a given that articles about Solar storms will mention visible auroras in the northern US states, but the Northern Lights have been seen at least as far South as the Tall Grass Prairie region of northern Oklahoma.
“Light pollution” wasn’t an issue on that thinly- populated prairie, back in the ’50s.
I remember my Grandparents showing us the dancing lights on the northern horizon and then the next night, our local minister rounded up a few kids and again showed us the distant display. The aurora’s lights didn’t reach very high into the sky and were only white, not multi- colored as shown in photos.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever again gazed at the northern rim of the night sky without trying to get a glimpse of those lights, remembering those innocent nights, now just a wistful memory.

May 14, 2019 7:42 am

Currently a G3, strong.

May 14, 2019 7:45 am

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK07
Serial Number: 114
Issue Time: 2019 May 14 0901 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 7
Threshold Reached: 2019 May 14 0859 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0600-0900 UTC

Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G3 – Strong

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 50 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Power system voltage irregularities possible, false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices.
Spacecraft – Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur.
Navigation – Intermittent satellite navigation (GPS) problems, including loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur.
Radio – HF (high frequency) radio may be intermittent.
Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.

May 14, 2019 8:58 am

So the ISS astronauts – do they have a well-shielded hidey hole to go into when one of these solar storms rushes by? I would hope so.

May 14, 2019 1:26 pm

As has been noted before solar flares appear to have a direct impact on some people —

Many animals can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, so why not people, asks Oleg Shumilov of the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems in Russia.
Shumilov looked at activity in the Earth’s geomagnetic field from 1948 to 1997 and found that it grouped into three seasonal peaks every year: one from March to May, another in July and the last in October. Surprisingly, he also found that the geomagnetism peaks matched up with peaks in the number of suicides in the northern Russian city of Kirovsk over the same period.

There is a statistically significant increase in male hospital admissions for depression the second week after geomagnetic storms. (Kay, 1994)

Michael Berk of the University of Melbourne has found a link between the suicide rate and increase in the geomagnetic storms, which are triggered by solar flares.

On days after a geomagnetic storm, the incidence of myocardial infarction – heart attack – increases by 7%. (Cornelissen et al., 1999)
A Meta analysis of 47 studies shows the incidence of myocardial infarction increased on Mondays with a secondary peak on Thursdays and Fridays. Over a 30-year span, approximate weekly, yearly and 10.5-year rhythms have been observed in heart-disease related mortality in Minnesota. Medical officials reported an additional 220 such cases per year during maximal solar activity – a 5% increase – compared to years of minimal solar activity. (Cornelissen et al., 1999)

Research paper — ‘The effect of solar–geomagnetic activity during hospital admission on coronary events within 1 year in patients with acute coronary syndromes’ Author J.Vencloviene et al.
Some evidence indicates the deterioration of the cardiovascular system during space storms. It is plausible that the space weather conditions during and after hospital admission may affect the risk of coronary events in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). We analyzed the data of 1400 ACS patients who were admitted to the Hospital Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and who survived for more than 4 days.

(from )

So breakout the antidepressants and heart pills, and guys stay calm and be careful. 🙂

Reply to  tom0mason
May 15, 2019 10:42 am

re: “Many animals can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, … ”

You realize, don’t you, that the strength (and even the direction!) of the Earf’s (sic) magnetic field is not constant, but varies, and varies locally, and in real time? Do you suppose these changes are all sensed as well? It could/should prove to be a dizzying experience for some …

Suggest a search on “magnetic anomaly map” for further elucidation. For instance:

May 15, 2019 10:30 am

Whew. We made it. No problems experienced. From the Texas ERCOT (Texas’ power grid supervisor):

May 14 2019 07:05:53 CST
ERCOT has cancelled the following notice: Advisory issued for a geomagnetic disturbance of K-7 until May 14, 2019 1200 UTC.
Operational Information: Cancelled

May 15, 2019 11:58 am

The solar cycle 23 was weak and lasted 12 years.
The 24 solar cycle has been the weakest for over a century.
It will last at least 13 years.

flow in
May 15, 2019 4:22 pm

Hi Anthony.

Sorry to jump on a different thread, but I have a request for you, since you are a data maestro.

I’m really interested in the correlation between earth’s rotational speed and raw sea level data.

Would you be interested in looking at that with your data wrangling skillset, please?

flow in
Reply to  flow in
May 15, 2019 4:24 pm

Implies the rotational data is available.

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