A LOCAL GEOMAGNETIC STORM: Space weather forecasters and aurora chasers love to talk about the “planetary K index” (Kp). It’s like a Richter Scale for geomagnetic storms, ranking global geomagnetic activity with numbers ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (extreme). When Kp shoots above 5, a storm is in progress and auroras ring the Arctic Circle. When Kp is near 0, you wouldn’t expect to see anything. Yet on Nov. 24th, Kp was 0 when aurora tour guide Oliver Wright witnessed a magnificent display over Abisko, Sweden:

“The sky went completely crazy with vivid greens and pinks,” says Wright. “Totally not what we expecting to see with the Kp score as low as it was. ”

What happened? Wright himself solved the mystery: “We have just been looking at magnetometer data from the nearby town of Kiruna. Locally, there was a magnetic disturbance corresponding to a K index of 7–a strong geomagnetic storm. It just goes to show how geomagnetic activity can be much more localized than expected.”

Indeed, this episode and others like it highlight a shortcoming of space weather forecasting: For decades, analysts have used a global index (Kp) to express forecasts of regional activity. It would be like a terrestrial weather forecaster announcing “there is a chance of rain today around the Arctic Circle.” Okay. But where around the Arctic Circle?

Regional forecasting of geomagnetic effects is a relatively new frontier in space weather research. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and its university partners are starting to make strides in this area. For instance, experimental Geospace Ground Magnetic Perturbation Maps show realtime estimates of geomagnetic activity in a five-by-five degree polar grid, providing more local information than ever before. Try watching the movies the next time a “planetary” geomagnetic storm is in progress; the regional information may surprise you.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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15 Responses to

  1. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Den says:
    November 25, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    You need a bucket truck to trim it

    No, the tree is up against the stairs up to the loft. They can reach the top from there.


  2. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    No way Franken can be compared to Moore and Trump. I hope he doesn’t resign, that would be a big mistake and prove what pussies Democrats are. Always backing away from a fight.


    • Micki says:

      That photo could be his undoing.


      • Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

        What photo? With the girl who accused him then forgave him?


        • Micki says:

          Regardless if she “forgave” him, the reality is that a picture speaks a thousand words – whether one seeks his resignation or not.

          As Jonathan Turley writes:

          Voters are entitled to the representatives of their choosing. Moreover, if Congress could expel a member on such allegations, it could use the power to bar unpopular members by simply producing a couple witnesses or, worse yet, secure a majority through expulsions. Despite all of the pledges for immediate action against Moore, the Constitution favors his taking his seat if elected. Despite the greater number of women denouncing Moore, Franken has one element that is much worse: a photo. The picture of Franken laughing while groping a sleeping woman is the type of image that will not be easy to erase even with Franken’s self-submission to the six-member ethics committee.


  3. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    I’m Carolizing a few drawers around here this morning, taking a small break right now. Getting rid of lots of little junk that’s been hanging around here for way too long. Some Bob things are going, too, some tossed and other things I’m going to see if either kid wants them.

    Heating up the oven to cook a frozen pizza that I bought for Bob awhile ago. Have to start getting rid of the frozen things I stocked up on for him. He was getting so fussy about what he ate, and he ate so little. I honored his wish for frozen junk food. I’ll rise to the occasion and eat it up.

    I noticed my good cookie sheet is not here, just the rusty. Damn it. I put the ham on it to transport to the pot luck. I must have left it there. Pete said it was probably in the dish drainer after people washed things up. 😦 Pete said he will go there this week to get it back, or I can buy a new one.


  4. Den says:

    Carol, my fake tree is 5 feet high making it easy to decorate, just no presents under it cuz it’s only me here. I think they ought to make tree stands that rotate to make decorating easier.

    The morning Gab-a-thon continues to prattle on about cheeto-face, ugh!

    FB has been getting inundated with SPAM comments as Jim would point out, I’m reporting every one I see, maybe someone in Zuck’s world will notice?


  5. Den says:

    I just had a clap of thunder louder than any I have ever heard, it thundered for 30 seconds from one big-ass bolt, wow! I thought it was a NK Nuke going off, easily over 100db, house rattled, power went off, KABLOOEY!


  6. David B. Benson says:

    Frittered away the day so just the 24 minutes to the Old Post Office. Steady stream of cars coming down the highway from the west.


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