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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49 thoughts on “Three solar storms headed for Earth

  1. 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!

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

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

    • 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!!)

  2. 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.

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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”

      • 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]

        • Pop,

          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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 🙂

    • 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:

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

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