Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2016 Feb 22 0359 UTC.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 15 – 21 February 2016
Solar activity reached moderate levels early in the period due to an M1/1n flare (R1-minor radio blackout) from Region 2497 at 1056 UTC on 15 Feb, but low levels of activity were observed on 16-19 Feb with very low levels observed on 20-21 Feb as Region 2497 rotated behind the west limb. Region 2497 (N13, L=087, class/area=Eac/250 on 12 Feb) was the largest, most magnetically complex and active sunspot region on the disk this period, however, despite the frequency of solar activity this period no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were observed.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels on 15-16 Feb but an enhanced solar wind environment due to a coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) caused an increase to high flux levels throughout the remainder of the period (17-21 Feb), with a peak value of 36,500 pfu observed at 1755 UTC on 19 Feb.
Geomagnetic field activity reached G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels this period. The onset of a south polar-connected negative polarity CH HSS caused and isolated period of active conditions late on 15 Feb, unsettled to G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storms on 16-17 Feb, and unsettled to G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms on 18 Feb. As the CH HSS rotated out of geoeffective position, geomagnetic field activity decreased from quiet to unsettled levels on 19-20 Feb to quiet levels on 21 Feb due to the return of a nominal solar wind regime.
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 22 February – 19 March 2016
Solar activity is likely to be at low levels with a slight chance for M-class flares (R1-R2 (Minor-Moderate) Radio Blackouts) on 22-29 Feb and 15-19 Mar. C-class flares are expected on 01-14 Mar with a chance for M-class flares due to the anticipated return of Region 2497 (N12, L=087) which produced four M-class flares last rotation.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit, barring any significant flare activity.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 22 Feb and 15-19 Mar due to an enhanced solar wind environment caused by coronal hole high speed streams (CH HSSs). Moderate levels are likely on 23-24 Feb, 04-05, 07-08 and 13-14 Mar with low flux levels expected for the remainder of the period.
Geomagnetic field activity is likely to reach G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels on 14-16 Mar and active field conditions are likely on 01, 03, 06 and 17 Mar, all due to the effects of multiple CH HSSs. The remainder of the period is expected to be at quiet or quiet to unsettled levels under a nominal solar wind regime.
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