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Middle Latitude Auroral Activity Watch - January 17th 2013

Marcel de Bont

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SpaceWeatherLive Report

Analyses Aurora chance January 17, 2013



Recap solar activity and geophysical activity

On January 13th 2013 there was a moderate M1 class solar flare from Active Region 1654 that at the moment was still very active and magnetically complex.

During this flare, a very slow CME was seen leaving the sun with a speed of 340km/sec towards earth. During the morning of January 17th we saw the arrival of a solar wind stream from a coronal hole and the earth entered a new sector (sector boundary crossing) which changed the direction of the IMF southwards. A few hours after the earth entered this new sector, the CME arrived with a relatively high density; the speed of the impact was not large because this was less then the coronal hole. The IMF stayed moderately strong (14nT) untill this evening and the IMF keeps it's moderately strong southward component (-12nT) at this time.

Synopsis aurora chance

Due to the continuous strong southward direction of the IMF, a moderate G2 class storm with a predicted Kp index of 7 is developing. Because of this our automatic warning system triggered that the middle latitudes should stay alert for a possible chance of weak aurora low on the northern horizon when skies are clear and dark. As of now the chances are very small for the middle latitude unless the direction of the IMF keeps tilting sharply south. Be alert. From now on keep an eye on local magnetometer stations to know when the conditions are good.

Low Latitudes: 0% chance

Middle Latitudes: 30% chance

High Latitudes: 90% chance


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