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Weather forecasting, detailed weather analysis and climate information

1:45 PM | A recent increase in the number of sunspots

Paul Dorian

Discussion

The sun currently has numerous visible sunspots and some are directly facing the Earth which means any eruption in the next few days could very well have an effect on the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The most likely source for a near term solar flare is from an active sunspot officially called AR1613 which has an unstable magnetic field and is now directly facing the Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of an “M-class” solar flare and a 5% chance of an “X-class” (biggest type) in the next day or so. There was a moderately strong eruption on the sun a few days which resulted in a coronal mass ejection that caused northern lights to be seen in southern Canada and portions of the northern US. The current solar cycle (#24) is expected to reach a maximum later next year.