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Cliff Mass: Strong solar wind means possible aurora in night sky

UPDATE: Looks like this Cliff Mass blog post has been pulled down. We’re trying to find out what’s up, so to speak.

UPDATE x2: NOAA retracted its geomagnetic storm alert. Here’s what we heard back from Cliff Mass:

I pulled it down when NOAA retracted the solar storm warning…. my blog was only up a few minutes so I thought it was ok to just delete it….little did I know…cliff

Original Post:
Writing about celestial events in the Pacific Northwest is often just cruel. Cloudy skies do not do much for eclipses, meteor storms or, in tonight’s case a possible view of an aurora event in the skies over Washington State :

NOAA has issued a geomagnetic storm alert with a strong solar wind potentially interfering with alarms, satellites and causing an aurora in the night sky.

The first question is whether there will be an aurora. You can check that at the NOAA aurora site for the current locations:

If that cosmic element comes to pass, the next requirement to smite the usual Seattle disappointment with night sky activity are breaks in the cloud cover. No guarantees — but Cliff Mass says it’s possible. Worth getting your hopes up, at least a little bit, no?

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10 years ago

Yay aurora! But boo, Cliff’s post has suddenly vanished. Did he change his mind?

10 years ago

NOAA has issued a geomagnetic storm alert with strong solar wind gusts potentially interfering with alarms, satellites and causing Aurora in the night sky.

Geomagnetic storms occur when a strong gust of solar wind hits the Earth’s magnetosphere and can cause Aurora in high-latitude parts of the Earth.

The NOAA Space Weather Centre issued a warning and then an active alert at 0240 UTC on 12 April for a geomagnetic storm measuring G3 on the NOAA scale or “Strong.”

A G3 magnetic storm can cause problems with power systems and voltage corrections may be required, and can trigger false alarms on some protection devices.