Aurora borealis – Northern Lights 2012

I was asked by guests where to find aurora alerts. This website gives the imminent forecast and this gives the hourly forecast.  
The daily one is not very accurate. For example on the night of 30th Sept the prediction was ‘Active 4kp’ but when I was taking photographs the imminent forecast was ‘Storm level 6.6kp.’ And today 8th October it has a prediction of 2kp yet at 2pm it was storm level 7kp!
The worst prediction was on night of 7th August when I saw a good display and it was predicted as ‘Quiet 1kp’ On the night of 27th March when I saw a display it was predicted as ‘Moderate 3kp’.
The other two dates seemed much more accurate so Carolyne’s on about the 17th March was predicted as ‘High 4kp’ from nights of 15th to 19th March and mine on night of 23rd April was ‘High 5kp.’

Any daily prediction of kp3 or above is definitely worth checking. The best thing is to look at the sky for anything too green and then use still peripheral vision.
To give a rough idea of aurora activity I looked at the daily forecasts for the whole year so far showing level 3 and above. Green is level 3kp, Yellow is level 4kp and Red is level 5kp.

Oct
Sept
Aug
Jul
Jun
May
Apr
Mar
Feb
Jan
1st
21st
27th
30th
18th
24th
29th
28th
27th
30th
20th
26th
29th
17th
23rd
27th
27th
26th
25th
14th
23rd
24th
16th
22nd
26th
22nd
24th
24th
12th
20th
22nd
5th
20st
25th
21st
23rd
22nd
6th
18th
20th
4th
19th
24th
20th
21st
21st
5th
17th
17th
18th
23rd
18th
19th
20th
4th
16th
17th
18th
17th
18th
14th
1st
15th
12th
17th
16th
17th
13th
14th
11th
13th
15th
14th
5th
3rd
9th
12th
14th
13th
4th
2nd
8th
11th
12th
10th
3rd
1st
10th
11th
2nd
7th
10th
6th
9th
5th
8th
4th
7th
3th
6th
2nd
3rd
1st
2nd

Here are the dates of Northern lights visible at Treshnish. Each event seems to be stronger than the previous. Apparently solar activity is at a record high and it should peak in about May 2013. Aurora borealis records so far this year:
9th Oct: 11pm-at least 2am
8th Oct: 9.45pm-4am
1st Oct: 2.15-5.45am
8th August: 2-2.30am
24rd April: about 2am
28th March: 2.30am
about 17th March: Carolyne.
QI fact: On 2nd Sept 1859 the aurora was so strong that telegraph operators could transmit messages using only the electromagnetic charge of the storm (Wikipedia).

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