Last major update issued on March 18, 2015 at 04:10 UT.
[Solar and geomagnetic
data - last month (updated daily)]
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)]
[Solar cycles 23-24 (last update March 1, 2015)] [Cycle 24 progress (last update March 1, 2015) ]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update March 1, 2015)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (last update March 1, 2015)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports since January 2003 (last update March 1, 2015)]
[Noon SDO sunspot count 1K Reference: 4K (large file) (updated daily)]
[POES auroral activity
level October 2009 - December 2012]
[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated March 15, 2015]
[Presentations: 3rd SSN Workshop, Tucson, 2013 (pdf) / 4th SSN Workshop, Locarno, 2014]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to very severe storm on March 17. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 367 and 692 km/s. A solar wind shock was recorded at SOHO at 04:10 UT. ACE data from the same time did not meet the solar wind shock criterium for sudden increase in solar wind density. While the geomagnetic disturbance during the first half of the day was likely related to a recurrent co-rotating interaction region, the very strong disturbance after noon was likely a combination of the CIR and the arrival of the March 15 CME.
Solar flux at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 114.3 (decreasing 6.7 over the last solar rotation). The 90 day 10.7 flux at 1 AU was 134.1. The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 107 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 107.4). Three hour interval K indices: 25668877 (planetary), 14657656 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux is at the class B6 level.
At the time of counting spots (see image time), spots were observed in 6 active regions using 2K resolution (SN: 108) and 4 active regions using 1K resolution (SN: 64) SDO images on the visible solar disk.
Region 12297 [S18W60] decayed further nearly losing
the magnetic delta in the single large penumbra.
Region 12299 [S05W06] decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 12301 [S17W37] decayed slowly and quietly.
New region 12302 [N10W56] emerged on March 14 and was numbered by SWPC 3 days later as the region developed quickly. C and minor M class flares are possible.
New region 12303 [N19E66] rotated into view on March 16 with SWPC numbering the region the following day.
Spotted regions not numbered (or interpreted
differently) by SWPC:
New region S4289 [N15E26] was observed with penumbra spots.
C2+ flares (GOES):
|Magnitude||Peak time (UTC)||Location||AR||Comment|
|M1.0/2N||23:34||S21W56||12297||M1.3 in SDO/EVE|
SDO/EVE/ESP XRS-B proxy
March 16-17: No obviously
Earth directed CMEs were observed.
March 15: An asymmetric full halo CME was observed after the C9 LDE in and near AR 12297 early in the day.
history (since October 2002)]
[Compare today's report to the situation one solar rotation ago: 28 days ago 27 days ago 26 days ago]
An extension (CH659) of the southern polar coronal hole rotated across the central meridian on March 14-16. This, and a northern hemisphere coronal hole, could be associated with co-rotating interaction regions.
Long distance low and medium frequency (below 2 MHz) propagation along paths north of due west over upper middle latitudes is very poor. Propagation on long distance northeast-southwest paths is poor.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to minor storm on March 18 with a chance of major storm intervals, quiet to active on March 19 and quiet to unsettled on March 20.
|Coronal holes (1)||Coronal mass ejection (2)||M and X class flares (3)|
1) Effects from a coronal hole could reach Earth within the
next 5 days. When the high speed stream has arrived the color changes to green.
2) Effects from a CME are likely to be observed at Earth within 96 hours.
3) There is a possibility of either M or X class flares within the next 48 hours.
Green: 0-30% probability, Yellow: 30-70% probability, Red: 70-100% probability.
(Click on image for 2K resolution) Compare to the previous day's image. 0.5K image
When available the active region map has a coronal hole polarity overlay where red (pink) is negative and blue is positive.
Data for all numbered solar regions according to the Solar Region Summary provided by NOAA/SWPC. Comments are my own, as is the STAR spot count (spots observed at or inside a few hours before midnight) and data for regions not numbered by SWPC or where SWPC has observed no spots. SWPC active region numbers in the table below and in the active region map above are the historic SWPC/USAF numbers.
|Active region||Date numbered
|Spot count||Location at midnight||Area||Classification||SDO / HMI 4K continuum
image with magnetic polarity overlay
SWPC has impossible combination of 1 spot and CRI classification
imagery does not support SWPC data for area and classification
|Total spot count:||20||48||24|
|Sunspot number:||60||108||64||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted SN:||43||68||44||(Sum of total spot count + classification weighting for each AR. Classification weighting: X=0, R=3, A/S=5, H/K=10)|
|Relative sunspot number (Wolf number):||36||38||35||k * (sunspot number). k = 0.6 for SWPC, k = 0.35 for MSN 2K, k = 0.55 for MSN 1K (MSN=Magnetic Sunspot Number)|
|Month||Average solar flux||International sunspot number
|Smoothed sunspot number||Average
|166.3||102.3 (cycle peak)||78.4 (+1.1)||10.70|
(likely solar max)
|2014.09||146.6||148.1||87.6||(71.6 projected, -4.0)||9.78|
|2014.10||153.4||152.9||60.6||(69.2 projected, -2.4)||8.96|
|2014.11||154.8||151.4||70.1||(67.4 projected, -1.8)||9.33|
|2014.12||158.7||153.8||78.0||(66.3 projected, -1.1)||11.24|
|2015.01||141.9||137.3||67.0||(65.1 projected, -1.2)||9.46|
|2015.02||129.1||126.0||44.8||(63.6 projected, -1.5)||9.92|
|2015.03||(123.9)||26.0 (2A) / 47.4 (2B) / 52.7 (2C)||(61.6 projected, -2.0)||(16.1)|
1) Running average based on the daily 20:00 UTC observed solar flux value at
2A) Current impact on the monthly sunspot number based on the Boulder (NOAA/SWPC) sunspot number (accumulated daily sunspots / month days). The official WDC-SILSO international sunspot number is typically 30-50% lower. 2B) Boulder SN current month average to date. 2C) STAR SDO 1K Wolf number 30 day average.
3) Running average based on the quicklook and definitive Potsdam WDC ap indices. Values in red are based on the definitive international GFZ Potsdam WDC ap indices.
This report has been prepared by Jan Alvestad. It is based on the analysis of data from whatever sources are available at the time the report is prepared. All time references are to the UTC day. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.
SDO images are courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.