Strong G3 geomagnetic storm

Monday, 7 March 2016 03:25 UTC

Strong G3 geomagnetic storm

The NOAA SWPC reported strong G3 geomagnetic storming conditions during the 21:00-00:00 UTC period on 6th of March. The Wing Kp-index reported a maximum of Kp6+ and also the GFZ Potsdam Quicklook Kp-index did not go beyond Kp6+. The direction of the IMF (Bz) turned sharply southward after 15:00 UTC reaching as low as -18.4nT at 18:34 UTC. This caused a violent geomagnetic response and visual (!) auroral displays were reported as far south as The Netherlands!

We suspect there might have been a CME passage before the onset of a coronal hole solar wind stream which really stirred things up. All in all a much stronger geomagnetic storm developed than was anticipated. Click here and here for an archived image of the solar wind and IMF conditions for 06-03-2016.

The current conditions remain favourable for more geomagnetic storming in the hours ahead as the direction of the IMF (Bz) remains southward but another period of strong G3 geomagnetic stroming is not to be expected. Minor G1 geomagnetic storming remains likely with a slight chance for G2 conditions. The following locations might see aurora towards their horizon tonight:

North America:
Portland (OR, USA) Boise (ID, USA) Casper (WY, USA) Lincoln (NE, USA) Indianapolis (IN, USA) Columbus (OH, USA) New York City (NY, USA)

Southern Hemisphere:
Devonport (Australia) Christchurch (New Zealand)

Here are a couple of images made in Europe:

Header image: Andy Walker (Scotland)

Barry Scollay, Scotland:

David Fowlie, Scotland:

Douwe, The Netherlands:

Ruben, The Netherlands:

Graeme Whipps, Scotland:

James Noyes, Wales:

Alistair Hamill‎, Northern Ireland:

David Herridge‎, Northumberland, UK:


Mark Wilson, Scottish Borders, UK:

Any mentioned solar flare in this article has a scaling factor applied by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), the reported solar flares are 42% smaller than for the science quality data. The scaling factor has been removed from our archived solar flare data to reflect the true physical units.

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