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Solar Alert - wind speeds of 800 km/s expected

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VE7DXW, Dec 8, 2020.

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  1. VE7DXW

    VE7DXW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It looks like NOAA rescinded the forecast or downgraded it to G1 for tomorrow, but things still could get interesting. Unfortunately the solar flux is down...

  2. VE7DXW

    VE7DXW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Normal solar wind is around 300 km/s to 400 km/s, but what really makes the difference it the density and the alignment of earth magnetic field. Check this out GOES-16 real-time solar wind.
    AA4MB likes this.
  3. KQ9I

    KQ9I XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's 6PM CST in the US and K index is still low. I suspect the estimates of the solar wind speed/CME are off and we'll get hit a bit later on. No, this won't damage your radio. It has a small chance of causing further-south than normal aurora, and maybe some auroral propagation. Normally high K index causes radio blackouts in the HF spectrum, meaning you get little to no skip. Right now I'm seeing some mild degradation of 20 and 30m band. However, I'm also seeing better circuits from Chicago to EU on 40M than usual for this time of day (love FT8 for monitoring propagation). Propagation/space weather is interesting. It's not always what you expect.

    I recommend watching Dr. Tamitha Skov's Youtube channel. Particularly the video below, done yesterday about this event, which is very amusing as she meant to record but instead live-streamed her video. She's adorable. Also, has a Ph.D in Geophysics and Space Plasma Physics. One of those people I am in awe of for their brain's horsepower. Well worth supporting her on Patreon as she is a real resource to the ham radio community with her weekly solar weather programs.

    Jim KQ9I
    M0TTQ, K6CLS, VE7DXW and 1 other person like this.
  4. KE8HBV

    KE8HBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet no one else knows what movie the metal monster at 0:13 in the video is.
  5. K9CTB

    K9CTB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Man, guyz ... here I am again, crawling out from under that rock I apparently live under. Stereo B is working again? Or is it just one spectrometer? Geez, guyz, I need to get out more!! Thanks for this update! :)
    VE7DXW likes this.
  6. VE7DXW

    VE7DXW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    2nd storm has arrived, but a lot quieter than initially predicted.

    Space Weather Message Code: ALTK04
    Serial Number: 2180
    Issue Time: 2020 Dec 10 0300 UTC

    ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 4
    Threshold Reached: 2020 Dec 10 0259 UTC
    Synoptic Period: 0000-0300 UTC

    Active Warning: Yes

    NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

    Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 65 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
    Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
    Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes such as Canada and Alaska.

    but maybe not...on the NOAA site there is now a G3 alert again, the speed has increased to 575 km/s and density is greater than 12 particles!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
  7. W1PJE

    W1PJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    CME arrived at the L1 Lagrange point (out in front of Earth on the Sun line) at 0130 UTC today with a strong southward Bz in the solar wind (more geoeffective than a northward Bz). Time from the L1 point projecting forward to impacts on the magnetic field is typically 45 to 60 minutes, so I'd guess effects will begin at 0230 UTC today. Kp is already 4 for 00 - 03 UTC today, which agrees with increase in magnetic activity, but the auroral boundaries have not expanded yet. This means a potential for significant nighttime ionospheric structuring that, if it occurred, can disrupt transcontinental links. Relative strength of this disturbance will need to wait for more data as the hours go on.

    Tomorrow, the ionosphere could exhibit a positive phase response = increased electron density in the noontime / afternoon sector, or negative phase response = reduced electron density in daytime. These two limits are driven by two different physical pathways (change in neutral composition = increasing loss and decreased density; electrodynamic effects = the ionosphere moves upwards where its decay slows so electron density overall increases). They will of course have different HF propagation consequences: higher electron density allows higher frequency bands to open compared to quiet conditions, while lower electron density will close these bands down compared to quiet conditions.

    If possible, I suggest you get out the radio tomorrow daytime and make some QSOs (or try to do so) on 17 / 15 / 12 / 10 meters. See what happens.
    VE7DXW likes this.
  8. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes. For a quick look, just visit and scroll down to the middle of the page. Among the indicators there are the planetary K index (lower right corner; thing to keep in mind for that is that each bar represents 3 hours, so what was yellow for the past 3 h could be higher, same, or lower now) and the auroral-oval prediction. (The unfortunate counterintuitive aspect of the auroral prediction graphic is that the color shown for the oval equates to probability of occurrence and not the color of the oval.)

    In such times, good real-time indicator is to tune the lower bands and listen for signals that should sound normal to sound watery; also, go outside and look north, assuming your sky is dark enough for the check to matter.

    Another poster alluded to the March 1989 storm(s). That was a life-changing event for me. I was doing dishes with my Sony ICF-2001 beside me on the countertop, listening to the BBC's Antigua relay at 6175 kHz. Suddenly, its powerhouse signal vanished. "Huh," I thought. "Something's loose." Then the signal came back, full "S9 + 60" strength, as that single-hop signal could be in our NAm evenings. Then after a few more seconds, the signal vanished again. Then I ran outside and looked up.

    The Connecticut night sky was full of aurora, from horizon to horizon, in all directions. Astounding.

    That same storm brought down the Hydro Quebec grid in something like 90 seconds.
    WL7PM and W5EBB like this.
  9. VE7DXW

    VE7DXW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    • New NOAA Alert

      Space Weather Message Code: SUMSUD
      Serial Number: 226
      Issue Time: 2020 Dec 10 0447 UTC

      SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
      Observed: 2020 Dec 10 0211 UTC
      Deviation: 30 nT
      Station: BOU

      NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
  10. KC8UD

    KC8UD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I'm writing this now at 14:13 UTC or 7:13 MST I'm trying to participate in a 75 meter network and we can hardly hear each other where normally there is never a problem. This storm is quite a whammy for 75 meters.
    VE4LS and VE7DXW like this.

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