>>>Dezert News LIVE! Communications Advisory

February 18, 2018 Today, OFF-ROAD LIVE! reports on yet another science related communications impact news item on desert racing and adventuring, devoted to the Desert Off-Road Recreation & Racing Lifestyle!

UPDATED! there is a 55% chance of geomagnetic storms today as Earth moves through the wake of a passing Coronal Mass Ejection. Boosting the odds of geomagnetic activity is an incoming stream of solar wind. Estimated time of arrival: Feb. 16-18
Western radio operators should remain alert for communication disruptions.

CHANCE OF GEOMAGNETIC STORMS TODAY:  Space Weather forecasters say there is a 60% chance of minor geomagnetic storms on Feb. 15th when a CME (described below) is expected to hit Earth. Such a storm would have little effect on Earth-orbiting satellites or global power grids, but it would likely spark bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Stay tuned for updates as the solar storm cloud approaches.

 
SUNSPOT EXPLODES, HURLS CME AT EARTH: On Feb. 12th, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2699 exploded--for more than 6 hours. The slow-motion blast produced a C1-class solar flare and hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observtory (SOHO) shows the CME leaving the sun:


The CME is expected to reach Earth on Feb. 15th. Space Weather forecasters say there is a 60% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms with isolated periods of stronger G2 storming.

The effectiveness of the CME could be enhanced by a stream of solar wind that was already en route to Earth when the sunspot exploded. The solar wind is flowing from a large wedge-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere. If the approaching CME sweeps up material from that stream, snowplow-style, it could strike Earth's magnetic field with extra mass and potency.

Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives. If the coming storm intensifies to category G2, observers in northern-tier US states from Maine to Washington could see auroras as well. 

Radio communications throughout the West may be impacted for the next 48 hours.
Stay tuned for updates.

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