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Rough Weather in Space
Rough Weather in Space
23 Jul 2002
(Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)


A major sunspot region has rotated onto the visible face of the sun. This region, designated as Region 39 by NOAA Space Environment Center forecaster, is believed to have been the source of three large coronal mass ejections on the far side of the sun beginning on July 16. This region will rotate across the visible side of the sun over the next two weeks and is expected to produce more solar activity.

Since appearing on the visible side yesterday (July 22) this region has already produced a major flare at 6:35 pm Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) on July 22 (0035, July 23 UTC) . Radio blackouts reached category R3 (Strong) on the NOAA space weather scales. In response to the major flare, a geomagnetic storm is possible and is expected to begin between 8:00 pm MDT on July 24 and 8 am MDT on July 25 (0200 - 1400, July 25 UTC). The geomagnetic storm may reach category G2 (moderate) levels on the NOAA space weather scales.

R3 radio blackouts result in widespread HF radio communication outages on the dayside of the Earth and can also degrade low frequency navigation signals.

G2 geomagnetic storms can lead to minor problems with electrical power systems, spacecraft operations, communications systems, and some navigational systems. Aurora Borealis / Australis (northern / southern lights) may be seen down into the mid latitudes (New York, Madison, Boise, Vladivostok, Rome, Tasmania, Wellington - NZ, Puerto Montt - Chile)

Data used to provide space weather services are contributed by NOAA, USAF, NASA, NSF, USGS, the International Space Environment Services and other observatories, universities, and institutions. For more information, including email services, see SEC's Space Weather Advisories Web site or (303) 497-5127. The NOAA Public Affairs contact is Barbara McGehan at or (303) 497-6288.

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Last Updated: 23 Jul 2002