Friday, September 12, 2014

Solar flares may provide spectacular auroras for North Coast overnight

As you read this, the Sun has unleashed a solar flare invasion upon the earth, the second stream of energy this week,  ranking among some of those of the highest levels of the past.

The energy arriving through Friday and into Saturday morning provides a coronal mass ejection  that some observe may cause any number of interesting effects on communications, satellites, GPS devices and even potentially to power grids in northern reaches.

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So far, as all of that reaches our atmosphere things would seem to be fine, the only apparent effect thus far, some impressive auroras reported from last evening with the promise of even more colourful displays anticipated for this evening.

Displays from Nature of course are always forecast dependent for residents of the North Coast.

Our traditional pattern of clouds and showers or outright rain, more often than not, leaving us to experience things such as solar and lunar eclipses and the colourful aurora displays through the photos of others in locations far from the region.

For this evening, Environment Canada is hedging its bets to a fashion, the latest forecast calling for partly cloudy conditions, with fog patches developing before morning.

As in the past, looking for events on the horizon will be based on the conditions at the premium viewing times. In this instance aurora viewing is recommended towards the midnight hour and into the early hours of the morning.

It is also suggested that for the best view of the auroras from the north, finding a location away from the ambient light of the urban areas provides the best opportunity for the full spectacular.

With a bit of luck, the North Coast will see a shift in the wind to take clouds and any lingering fog off  to the distance, if so perhaps the skies will provide the best show of the night through the overnight period.

A bit of background on the approaching solar storm can be found below.

CBC-- Northern Lights: Aurora expected after 2 huge solar flares erupt
CNN-- Big solar storm hitting Earth
CTV-- Solar Storm could supercharge Northern Lights, disrupt cell reception
NPR-- Solar Flare Could Trigger Auroras tonight
Yahoo News-- Double solar storms headed to Earth raise disruption concerns
Sky and Telescope-- Potent Solar Flare -- Auroras Tonight?
Slate-- The Earth is about to be Bombarded by Two Solar Storms
The Weather Network-- NASA spacecraft captures image of powerful solar flare from Sun, could produce brilliant Aurora Borealis

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