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The Waiting Game

Dear <<First Name>>,

Once again we find ourselves in a waiting game with the Sun. Not only do we have a repeat offender-- a coronal hole that sent us fast solar wind last month is about to send some again-- but we also have several active regions firing small solar flares and mini-solar storms. This burst of eruptive activity is a bit surprising because the Sun has been in near hibernation for a while now. I captured my excitement in the above picture. I taped labels "1" and "2" on my screen to show where two near-simultaneous eruptions occurred on opposite sides of the Sun on October 12. (Although I accidentally blocked the timestamp, the time of the first was 13:55 UT and the second was 14:15 UT.) I wanted to share this with you so when you watch the STEREO segment in the video, you will know when and exactly where on the Sun to focus your eyes!

So, the obvious question is, "Will any of these eruptions hit Earth?" Right now, likely not. But it does feel good to watch active regions for solar storm launches again, even if this is only a momentary burst of activity. Nonetheless, if none of the recently launched mini-solarstorms hit Earth, we still have fast wind from coronal holes to keep us busy, which arguably could last us through the entire solar minimum!

Speaking of, in the forecast this week I talk about the fast solar wind coming from the northern coronal hole and how long we must wait before it arrives. I also look back at how much it affected us last month and why its effects should be reduced this time around. Overall, this is good news in the wake of Hurricane Michael. A report I saw in News4JAX today said the North Florida section of the American Radio Relay League is still actively looking for emergency radio responders to fill the ongoing communication gaps across the Florida Panhandle. Knowing that the impact of Michael is still being felt, I am grateful that the bulk of Space Weather right now comes from predictable sources like coronal holes. There is no doubt I get excited seeing a flurry of eruptions occurring on the Sun, especially when they might hit Earth. But I have to admit this week, I would prefer to wait for nothing.
A Northern Coronal Hole Returns: Solar Storm Forecast 10-18-2018
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