Monday, March 12, 2012

CME Arrival from March 10th M8.4 Solar Flare

   The CME associated with the March 10, 2012 M8.4 solar flare has arrived. At 08:54 UTC ACE detected the shock of the incoming CME. The SWPC originally forcasted the arrival time of this CME March 12th around 1800 UTC.  At this time the CME impact is stirring up a  G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm. Conditions are expected to continue through today as the bulk of the CME passed Earth as the bulk of the CME passes Earth.  Solar wind speeds have been recorded as high as 774.8 km/sec and Density as high as 51.9 protons/cm
View original report on the M8.4 LDE flare + CME here:

Issue Time: 2012 Mar 12 0854 UTC
WARNING: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse expected
Valid From: 2012 Mar 12 0915 UTC
Valid To: 2012 Mar 12 1015 UTC
IP Shock Passage Observed: 2012 Mar 12 0842 UTC

Be sure to check back often for further updates and alerts on this event.
All updates will be added to the bottom of this report.

With geomagnetic storming expected over the following hours, an aurora watch for high and mid latitudes is in effect for March 12, 2012.
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Geomagnetic Storm Levels and Effects - List

Update 18:14 UTC March 12, 2012:
There seams to be a fair amount of confusion floating around about the last 2 CME arrivals. Are they the two we have been expecting? Why are they not arriving when forecasted to arrive? Are we still expecting the CME associated with the March 10, 2012 M8.4 flare? We have put together the following in an attempt to help make the answers to these questions a bit more clear.

We are confident that on March 11, 2012 we saw the arrival of the 1st expected CME produced on March 9, 2012 in association with the M6.3 solar flare.
We are also confidant we are now seeing the arrival of the CME produced on March 10, 2012 in association with the M8.4 solar flare.
We base this on the ejection time & ejection speed of both CME's, as well as the Goddard Space Weather Lab CME arrival forecast that is posted directly after the events.

The March 9th M6.3 Flare + CME:
-estimated ejection speed of 750 km/s
-expected arrival time for the CME is on March 11, 2012 around 06:49UTC (+ or - 7hrs.)
-time we saw arrival - March 11 2012, at 11:59 UTC
(5hrs after the estimated arrival time,  there was a +/- of 7hrs on this CME arrival. This CME arrived within the expected arrival window)

-Spaceweather report on this CME arrival:
"CME IMPACT (MORE TO COME): An interplanetary shock wave buffeted Earth's magnetic field on March 11th at 11:59 UT. It was probably the first of two CMEs expected to arrive today."

The March 10th M8.4 Flare + CME:
-estimated ejection speed between 1200 - 1400 km/s.
-expected arrival time for the CME is on March 12, 2012 around 18:00UTC (+ or - 6hrs.)
-time we saw arrival - March 12 2012, at 08:54 UTC
(9hrs before the estimated arrival time, there was a +/- of 7hrs on this CME arrival. This CME arrived 2hrs before the expected arrival window)

-Spaceweather report on this CME arrival:
"WEEKEND SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR1429 is still erupting this weekend. On Saturday, March 10th, it produced a powerful M8-class flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory."
"In addition, the explosion propelled yet another CME toward Earth. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud will hit our planet's magnetosphere on March 12th at 1803 UT (+/- 7 hr), possibly sparking a new round of geomagnetic storms."
GEOMAGNETIC STORM UNDERWAY: A moderate G2-class geomagnetic storm is underway following the arrival of a CME on March 12th at ~0930 UT.

Update 18:09 UTC March 12, 2012:
Solar winds are remaining in the 700km/sec range. With the Bz remaining in the positive range this is keeping the Kp index at a Kp6 (a G2 geomagnetic storm). If the Bz turns south into a negative range with the solar winds remaining at over the 700km/sec range, a G3 storm could be produced. We will keep monitoring this situation and report any significant changes.

ACE Conditions @ 18:07 UTC
March 12, 2012
Solar Wind Speed: 774.8 km/sec
Density: 1.0 protons/cm
Bz: +3.4
By: +9.1

Update 16:59 UTC March 12, 2012:
Solar wind speeds have now increased to as high as 745.0 km/sec, with density dropping a bit. If the solar winds speeds continue at this speed, we expect this to stir up G3-Strong geomagnetic storming conditions.

ACE Conditions @ 16:59 UTC
March 12, 2012
Solar Wind Speed: 745.0 km/sec
Density: 0.5 protons/cm
Bz: +3.5
By: -0.9

Update 15:02 UTC March 12, 2012:
ACE Conditions @ 15:02 UTC
March 21, 2012
Solar Wind Speed: 497.2
Density: 12.8
Bz: +3.0
By: -2.4

NOAA Alerts:

Issue Time: 2012 Mar 12 1236 UTC
ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2012 Mar 12 1235 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1200-1500 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate
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.

Issue Time: 2012 Mar 12 1201 UTC
CONTINUED ALERT: Electron 2MeV Integral Flux exceeded 1000pfu
Continuation of Serial Number: 1871
Begin Time: 2012 Mar 10 0410 UTC
Yesterday Maximum 2MeV Flux: 24337 pfu
Potential Impacts: Satellite systems may experience significant charging resulting in increased risk to satellite systems


  1. ok. i'm confusded.

    we had to high M flares, both from 1429, right? one on the 9th and one on the tenth.

    both with associated CME's and both earth directed. the second one more direct, right?

    using HAARP as a guage, our field has been paricularly quiet in anticipation of the arriving energy, no blips and not even the normal diurnal variations.

    fir st we say arrival at 1 UTC today, but no responce on haarp. then a definate arrival (the first actual magfield energetic responce since the two CME's) at 9 this morning. here we have a haarp responce, but it looks like a shock wave responce, not an actual CMe body responce. that should come later.

    so is this from the first or the seccond CME? did they merge?

    can you guyz post a timeline?

    if the haarp data i'm seeing is a shock wave responce (rather than a main CME body responce) then its a big one.



  2. hiya Lerner :)
    i just pit together a timeline with all info and links that we have. took me a minute to make sure i had all the data in the right places, but i think i got it covered.
    I posted it as an update in the report :)

  3. thanx Ninz.. i looked it over.


    ..gotta say i respectfully disagre, tho. looking at haarp data its very unlikely that the march 9 M6 hit us at midnight. zero geofield responce.

    in my opinion, either the march 10 wobble (miday UTC) , which was a bit weird i thought (has the same pattern as diurnal variations but with much higher than normal amplitude) or it merged with the march 10 CME, or just maybe they are BOTh running late and this is the first shokwave.

    i favor the march 10 arrival day hypothesis.

    in any case: all a bit irregular it seems to me.

  4. the March 9th CME hit us with only a glancing blow. Due to the reversed polarity of 1429, it was oriented in a +/- factor and not in a -/+ factor, like most northern sunspot regions are.
    if this CME had hit us directly, we would have then seen more effects on all monitors. As the day goes on, into tomorrow, time will let us know what the situation was/is

  5. looks like you were right: no field interaction.

    thats new for me.


    thnx for the responces


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