Aurora in Mielno, May 2024

On Thursday, 9 May 2024, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issued a G4 Geomagnetic Stormwatch. This was done for the first time since January 2005. It was a result of activity of a complex sunspot cluster indicated as NOAA region 3664. Last G4 geomagnetic storm occurred on 23 March same year, while last G5 was in October 2003.

On 10 and 11 May 2024, G5 storm conditions were reached and auroras were seen in latitudes that usually don't see such activities. I live in a place where a decent G4 storm can cause aurora to be at least seen in the distance, so I was hopeful...

On the night from Friday, 10 May to Saturday, 11 May, most of the Polish coast was covered in a cozy stratus blanket.

Luckily, Saturday night was clear. Unluckily, the activity died down to G3 and later G0 by the time it got dark enough. Luckily, I am persistent and managed to get some photos despite that:

Not the best shots out there, but this is my first time seeing aurora and I'm quite happy about it.

Stormwatch persisted through the Sunday as another CMEs were expected to reach Earth. Sadly, the activity started going up only after local midnight and having a working day on Monday I decided to not gamble. It was the correct decision as it reached only G2 and a G3 warning persisted through to the Monday.

Later that week the region 3664 rotated out of the view. It came back as 3697 and 3723.

For detailed story, check out The Evolution and Impact of Active Region 13664 by Briana Muhlestein, Senior Weather Forecaster.