April 2, 2016 – Our planet is passing through a stream of fast-moving, negative polarity solar wind. Geomagnetic storming reached G1 – Minor levels at 17:24 UTC. A G2 – Moderate warning is in effect for the rest of the UTC day.
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ACE Solar Wind data is now showing signs of the onset of an anticipated high speed solar wind stream. A geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect for the next 24-48 hours. Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for visible aurora tonight once dark outside.
This is a recurrent CH HSS, responsible for G3 – Strong geomagnetic storms during its previous rotation. Solar wind speeds in excess of 600 km/s were observed from this CH and similar conditions are expected during this rotation too.
Geomagnetic K-index of 5 (G1 – Minor geomagnetic storm) threshold was first reached at 17:24 UTC on April 2. Under G1 conditions, area of impact is primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Weak power grid fluctuations can occur. Minor impact on satellite operations is possible. Aurora can be visible at high latitudes.
SWPC forecasters expect G2 – Moderate level storming and the corresponding warning was issued at 18:34 UTC. A G2 warning is valid from 18:35 to 23:59 UTC on April 2. G3 – Strong levels are also possible.
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.