Archive for March, 2012

Solar Eruption Debris Strikes Earths Magnetic Field
March 8, 2012

Debris from the X5 class solar flare has reached the earth’s magnetosphere.

The NASA image above was taken by the SOHO solar observation satellite. It shows the early stages of the coronal mass ejection shortly after the flare erupted from the sun’s surface. Materials blown away from the sun moved toward the earth at 1 million mph or higher, reaching the vicinity of earth Thursday morning.

The pressure from the materials carried on the solar wind distorts the magnetic field surrounding the earth. Electrical charges result and light the nighttime sky with spectacular auroral displays.

The map above was produced by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. It is a forecast of where the aurora might be visible Thursday night and early Friday. The green shading identifies the area where auroras would be visible overhead. The solid green line to the south defines the southern limit of  aurora visiblility low on the northern horizon. The forecast on this map estimates that auroras might be visible as far south as Boston, Chicago and Seattle. The line passes across northern Pennsylvania indicating that Baltimore might be a little too far south for viewing an auroral display. Additionally, the weather will not be ideal. Clouds and rain are in the forecast for the overnight hours.

There may be other opportunities to view auroral displays over the next few years as the sun is still headed toward the maximum of its’ eleven year cycle of solar activity.

John Collins

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Big Solar Flare
March 7, 2012

An X5 class solar flare known as a Coronal Mass Ejection erupted on the sun’s surface Monday night. The effects of the CME may reach earth by Thursday.

The NOAA image of the sun was transmitted Wednesday morning. (Also: See video from NASA here) The location of the CME is the bright area on the upper left quadrant of the sun. The NOAA graph below shows the spike that sensors registered at the time of the eruption.

CMEs can cause power grid and radio communications interruptions world wide. They are also responsible for beautiful Aurora Borealis displays in the polar regions.

John Collins

 

Another Near Miss
March 6, 2012

Another small winter storm moved across the area Monday and once again Baltimore was on the north edge of the precipitation with only a trace of snow measured at BWI-Marshall Airport.

More significant snowfall was measured just to the south.

The Tuesday morning visible satellite image shows the east/west snow band reaching across central Virginia and southern West Virginia. 1″ to 8 ” of snow was measured in this area. Check out the list of accumulations provided by the National Weather Service.

John Collins

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
SPOTTER REPORTS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1126 AM EST TUE MAR 06 2012

THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN DURING THE PAST 32
HOURS FOR THE STORM THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTING OUR REGION. APPRECIATION
IS EXTENDED TO HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS...COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS...SKYWARN
SPOTTERS AND MEDIA FOR THESE REPORTS. THIS SUMMARY IS ALSO AVAILABLE
ON OUR HOME PAGE AT WEATHER.GOV/BALTIMORE

********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

LOCATION          STORM TOTAL     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS
                     SNOWFALL           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

...DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...
   NATIONAL ARBORETUM       T   800 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

MARYLAND

...ALLEGANY COUNTY...
   FROSTBURG              1.1   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...CALVERT COUNTY...
   SOLOMONS               0.4   850 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 WSW SAINT LEONARD      T   220 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...MONTGOMERY COUNTY...
   3 SSW DAMASCUS           T  1000 PM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER

...PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY...
   1 SE OXON HILL           T   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...ST. MARYS COUNTY...
   1 N RIDGE              1.3   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   SW PARK HALL           1.0   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   1 NE LEONARDTOWN       1.0   600 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   2 WNW CUCKOLD CREEK    1.0  1230 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   4 E HOLLYWOOD          1.0   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   AVENUE                 1.0  1120 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

VIRGINIA

...ALBEMARLE COUNTY...
   3 SSW EHEART           9.0  1027 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   4 NW EARLYSVILLE       8.5  1041 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 ESE EARLYSVILLE      8.0  1105 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   1 E SHADWELL           7.0  1139 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   EARLYSVILLE            6.0   152 PM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   1 NE IVY               6.0  1144 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   6 NNW CHARLOTTESVILL   6.0   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   2 WSW NEWCOMB HALL     5.0  1015 AM  3/05  RT 64 NEAR EXIT 118
   3 W WOODRIDGE          4.0  1030 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SSW SHADWELL         4.0   927 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SSE CROZET           4.0  1030 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 W CHARLOTTESVILLE    2.3   800 AM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER

...AUGUSTA COUNTY...
   MIDDLEBROOK            6.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   FISHERSVILLE           5.8   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   CHURCHVILLE            5.5   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   STUARTS DRAFT          5.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   GREENVILLE             5.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   2 ENE STAUNTON ARPT    4.5  1139 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   4 W CHURCHVILLE        3.8  1116 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 NNW STUARTS DRAFT    3.1   917 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   4 NNW CHURCHVILLE      2.5   830 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CRAIGSVILLE            2.2   730 AM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   STAUNTON               1.9   800 AM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 S CRAIGSVILLE        0.4   750 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   WAYNESBORO               T   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG...
   1 WSW FREDERICKSBURG     T   753 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF HARRISONBURG...
   2 W KEEZLETOWN         2.0  1107 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 NNE HARRISONBURG     1.8  1100 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   HARRISONBURG           1.2   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

...CITY OF STAUNTON...
   STAUNTON               6.0  1030 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF WAYNESBORO...
   WAYNESBORO             5.5   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   2 W WAYNESBORO         3.8   944 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF WINCHESTER...
   2 S WINCHESTER         0.1   300 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...FAUQUIER COUNTY...
   MORRISVILLE            1.9  1133 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   6 S WARRENTON          1.0   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   1 NW OPAL              0.5   945 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MARSHALL               0.5  1145 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...FREDERICK COUNTY...
   2 E STEPHENS CITY      1.0   315 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 N WILDE ACRES        0.7  1115 AM  3/05  NWS EMPLOYEE
   5 NE WINCHESTER        0.4   700 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   SE MIDDLETOWN          0.3   830 AM  3/06  COCORAHS

...GREENE COUNTY...
   RUCKERSVILLE           5.5  1100 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 SE LYDIA             4.3  1036 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   STANARDSVILLE          4.0   938 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

...HIGHLAND COUNTY...
   1 SW MILL GAP          4.4   600 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 WSW MONTEREY         3.0   400 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...KING GEORGE COUNTY...
   KING GEORGE            2.8  1210 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...LOUDOUN COUNTY...
   3 W MIDDLEBURG         0.5   846 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   DULLES INTERNATIONAL     T   100 PM  3/05  AIRPORT

...MADISON COUNTY...
   3 ESE MADISON          1.7  1130 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   HAYWOOD                1.0   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...NELSON COUNTY...
   1 ESE ROCKFISH         4.5  1030 AM  3/05  PUBLIC
   3 S AFTON              3.0   924 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   12 SW SCOTTSVILLE      1.8   800 AM  3/05  COCORAHS
   1 SSE LOVINGSTON         T   545 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

...ORANGE COUNTY...
   BARBOURSVILLE         10.0  1045 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   2 NNE BARBOURSVILLE    9.6  1030 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 NNW BARBOURSVILLE    8.0  1015 AM  3/05  COCORAHS
   1 NW BARBOURSVILLE     8.0   800 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   1 SSW ORANGE           5.5   800 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   ORANGE                 5.0  1000 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   2 ENE THORNHILL          T   705 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

...PAGE COUNTY...
   LURAY                    T   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

...RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY...
   SPERRYVILLE            1.0   500 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...ROCKINGHAM COUNTY...
   GROTTOES               7.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   BRIDGEWATER            2.5   951 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SE MASSANUTTEN       2.5   912 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   BERGTON                1.3   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   3 NE LACEY SPRING      1.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA

...SHENANDOAH COUNTY...
   MOUNT JACKSON          0.8   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   EDINBURG                 T   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY...
   SPOTSYLVANIA COURTHO   5.0  1135 AM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   5 SSW WHITE OAK        2.7  1255 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   5 SSW FREDERICKSBURG   2.0   600 AM  3/06  COCORAHS
   3 SE SNELL             1.8  1015 AM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 S DUNAVANT           1.0   100 PM  3/05  TRAINED SPOTTER

WEST VIRGINIA

...GRANT COUNTY...
   BAYARD                 3.1   700 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

...HARDY COUNTY...
   LOST CITY              1.0   100 PM  3/05  BROADCAST MEDIA
   LOST RIVER             0.3   843 AM  3/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 SE LOST RIVER        0.2   800 AM  3/06  CO-OP OBSERVER

$$

KONARIK