July 01, 2012
Four M-Class Flares within
the Last 48 Hours
by Mitch Battros - Earth Changes Media
Solar activity has returned to eruptive levels in the past 48 hours. Sunspot regions 1512, 1514, 1515 and 1516 have been active producing low to moderate flares within the last 34 hours. The brightest flare peaked around 08:30 UT on June 30th coming from region 1513 and registering 4.4 on the Kp Index.
More C-flares and possible M-class flares are expected within the next 48 hours, especially from sunspot regions 1513 and 1515. A large coronal hole has opened up which is producing a stream of high-speed solar wind which was captured by the ACE spacecraft.
This new high-speed stream comes on the back of the June 28th coronal hole event which arrived at ACE in the early hours UT of June 30th.
Solar wind velocity has since increased from about 400 km/s to a plateau of about 600 km/s. Meanwhile, the Interplanetary Magnetic Field strength has fluctuated between 5 and 15 nT, with the Bz component sometimes reaching -10 nT (severe) for short periods.
Due to the arrival of this second high-speed solar wind stream currently registering a lower level Kp 4 storm - will most likely increase to a moderate Kp 5 level expected for the second part of June 30th and for July 1st.
Watch for extreme weather break-outs over the next 72 hours. They could take many forms such as tropical storms turning into hurricanes, earthquake or volcanic eruptions, sudden temperature rapid shifts, tornadoes, straight-line winds, micro-burst. Since latest research on cosmic rays and thunderstorms, I now add to watch for extreme lightning storms.