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Space Weather Observations, Alerts, and Forecast

Forecast text

Product: 3-Day Forecast - Issued: 2024 May 18 0030 UTC
Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center.

Geomagnetic Activity Observation and Forecast

The greatest observed 3 hr Kp over the past 24 hours was 6 (NOAA Scale G2).
The greatest expected 3 hr Kp for May 18-May 20 2024 is 5.67 (NOAA Scale G2).

NOAA Kp index breakdown May 18-May 20 2024

May 18May 19May 20
00-03UT5.67 (G2)3.332.67
03-06UT5.67 (G2)3.332.33

Rationale: G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storms are expected on 18 May due to CME effects. No significant transient or recurrent solar wind features are forecast for 19-20 May.

Solar Radiation Activity Observation

Solar radiation, as observed by NOAA GOES-18 over the past 24 hours, was below S-scale storm level thresholds.

Solar Radiation Storm Forecast for May 18-May 20 2024

May 18May 19May 20
S1 or greater10%5%5%

Rationale: A slight chance for S1-S2 (Minor-Moderate) conditions exists on 18 May due to the flare potential from now departed Region 3664. Probabilities drop to a nominal levels on 19-20 May from the remaining active regions on the Suns visible disk.

Radio Blackout Activity

Radio blackouts reaching the R2 levels were observed over the past 24 hours. The largest was at May 17 2024 2108 UTC.

Radio Blackout Forecast for May 18-May 20 2024

May 18May 19May 20
R3 or greater25%10%10%

Rationale: R1-R2 (Minor-Moderate) conditions are likely on 18 May and a chance for R3 (Strong) exist 18 May. Conditions decay to a chance for R1-R2 conditions and a slight chance for R3 on 19-20 May.

Sun Images

eit 171 eit 195 eit 284 eit 304

Images: From left to right: EIT 171, EIT 195, EIT 284, EIT 304 EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstrom the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171 Angstrom, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin, 284 Angstrom to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.


The MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager) images shown here are taken in the continuum near the Ni I 6768 Angstrom line. The most prominent features are the sun spots.

LASCO (Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph) is able to take images of the solar corona by blocking the light coming directly from the Sun with an occulter disk, creating an artificial eclipse within the instrument itself.

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Solar cycle

Sunspot numbers F10.7CM Radio flux AP
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The Solar Cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the Sun. Solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. Solar maximum in May, 2013.

Solar wind Satellite impact Xray flux
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On the left: Real-Time Solar Wind data broadcast from NASA's ACE satellite. Middle: The Satellite Environment Plot combines satellite and ground-based data to provide an overview of the current geosynchronous satellite environment. Right: 3-days of 5-minute solar x-ray flux values measured on the SWPC primary and secondary GOES satellites.

Auroral activity

Northern Auroral map Southern Auroral map

Instruments on board the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) continually monitor the power flux carried by the protons and electrons that produce aurora in the atmosphere. SWPC has developed a technique that uses the power flux observations obtained during a single pass of the satellite over a polar region (which takes about 25 minutes) to estimate the total power deposited in an entire polar region by these auroral particles. The power input estimate is converted to an auroral activity index that ranges from 1 to 10.

Introduction Movie

Conditions on the Sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems and can endanger human life or health. This introduction movie in the English language will open on a new tab/window when you click on the image below.

Also in Quicktime format: Large (269M) and Small ( 60M).


Space Weather Images and Information (excluded from copyright) courtesy of:
NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center, Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (HAO/NCAR), and SOHO (ESA & NASA).

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