Coronal hole faces Earth, G1 watch issued

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 - 19:06 UTC

Coronal hole faces Earth, G1 watch issued

Sunspot region 2712 didn't manage to develop further since we wrote about it yesterday and has been pretty quiet today with only a couple of B-class solar flares. However, sunspot region 2712 is not the center of our attention today. Indeed, a coronal hole takes the spotlight today. A southern hemisphere coronal hole close to the solar equator is facing our planet today and sending an enhanced solar wind stream towards our planet.

This coronal hole was also facing our planet during the beginning of this month. When the stream arrived on 5 May, it pushed the total strength of the interplanetary magnetic field to a maximum of about 16nT and the solar wind speed topped at about 700km/s. The solar wind stream caused minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions which stands for a Kp=5. 

Based on STEREO Ahead data and the general shape and location of this coronal hole, we expect very similar solar wind/interplanetary magnetic field stats this time around. The high speed solar wind stream is expected to arrive in about 2 to 3 days of now which would be somewhere this Friday, 1 June. We think minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions are possible on that date and also the NOAA SWPC has now issued a G1 storm watch for that date.

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Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes
The strength of the interplanetary magnetic field is moderate (10.24nT), the direction is North (1.34nT).

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