St. Pat’s Day Greeted with Green Aurora, Severe Geomagnetic Storm

March 17th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun just arrived at Earth this morning, producing aurora and leading to severe geomagnetic storm conditions, with a Kp index of 8 now verified as of 10 a.m. EDT.

Here’s one aurora photo from Lake Superior Photo in Marquette, MI this morning, before the strongest portion of the CME arrived:


You can also check out some of the latest photos posted at’s Realtime Aurora Gallery.

According to NOAA, here are the expected impacts today:

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 45 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.

Induced Currents – Possible widespread voltage control problems and some protective systems may mistakenly trip out key assets from the power grid. Induced pipeline currents intensify.

Spacecraft – Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low earth orbit satellites, and tracking and orientation problems may occur.

Navigation – Satellite navigation (GPS) degraded or inoperable for hours.

Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation sporadic or blacked out.

Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Alabama and northern California.

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