A swift-moving Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) arrived earlier than predicted, slamming into the earth's atmosphere shortly after 0430z yesterday morning. What begin as a small K5 disturbance quickly grew to a K8, signalling the strongest geomagnetic storm of Solar Cycle 24.
It didn't take long for the VHF bands to start filling up with auroral signals as 6m diehards soon discovered that something was amiss.
Throughout all of the day, strong auroral signals were copied and many stations were worked from here in SW British Columbia. Having the peak conditions in the middle of a working day meant hearing fewer stations than might normally be expected compared with an evening event, yet dozens of stations, including Colorado, made it out west ... even on 2m!
Strong auroral events like this, especially at the equinox, can trigger swift rises in the F2 MUF as conditions return to normal. Hopefully 6m will unleash some of its F2 magic for what might be one of the cycle's last big hurrahs.