Posted at 3:40 PM on November 13, 2009
by Paul Huttner
NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) animation shows sunspot 1029 reemerging toward the earthward side of the sun.
This could be a good weekend for sun watchers.
The strongest sunspot this year is making a cameo. Active sunspot 1029 has traversed the far side of the sun and is ready to face the earth again. 1029 spent the last two weeks rounding the far side of the sun. Solar astronomers will have a great viewing opportunity this weekend for profile views as the large sunspot rotates around the side of the sun.
NASA'a SOHO platform will have great views of 1029 as it makes another pass across the earthward face of the sun in the next week or so. 1029 is believed to be the first significant sunspot of what could be a ramped up solar cycle 24 in the coming years. Increased aurora activity is possible in the next 10 days as 1029 faces earth.
Weather maps in transition:
It's interesting to watch the forecast models these days. The models are having a duzy of a time resolving a cut-off low pressure system early next week in the central plains. The latest GFS cuts the low off and has it spinning over Kansas and Oklahoma Monday and Tuesday. That would allow high pressure to dominate the Upper Midwest and give us another shot of sunny skies Sunday throughTuesday.
NOAA GFS surface prog for Tuesday shows high pressure and sunny skies in control.
The same model then kicks the system north into Minnesota for a chance of rain and or snow late Wednesday and early Thursday before brushing eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin with another system Friday.
In the short run, clouds and spotty mixed precip will hang around Saturday in Minnesota. Sunday looks sunny and cooler with highs in the 40s and low 50s.