Record Cold Sweeps Massachusetts, + the Sun Fires-Off its first X-Flare in 4 years

Just days after Boston hit a scorching 100F, the city has gone and set a new record low-max, on Saturday, July 3 — further evidence of the swings between extremes we expect during times of low solar activity.

The high temperature in Boston touched a mere 60F on Saturday — this busted the city’s previous low for the date: the 61F from way back in 1914 (the Centennial Minimum/solar minimum of cycle 14).

Tracking the solar cycle, NOAA
Tracking the solar cycles [NOAA].

Back on that same date –July 3, 1914– Worcester also logged its all-time low temperature for the day (also of 61F) — but that benchmark was shattered Saturday by a daytime a high that reached just 57F.

Hartford and Providence narrowly missed-out on suffering their coldest July 3rd’s of all-time — both cities registered 62F on Saturday, with the records being 61F and 60F, respectively–both also set in 1914.

“It must’ve been a really cold day on July 3, 1914 across New England,” said NWS meteorologist, Torry Gaucher.

Temperatures will fall again into the mid-50s Saturday night, with scattered showers and embedded downpours forecast through Sunday morning, reports the bostonglobe.com — but the weather should improve late Sunday.

The Sun Fires-Off its first X-Flare in 4 years

Now, Solar Cycle 25 has really begun.

On July 3, new sunspot AR2838 produced the first X-class solar flare since September, 2017.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observed the intense ultraviolet flash:

The July 3 explosion registered X1.5.

Even though the flash was not Earth-facing, a pulse of X-rays still managed to ionize the top of our atmosphere, causing a shortwave radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean, reports Dr Tony Phillips — mariners, aviators, and amateur radio operators may have noticed unusual propagation effects below 30 MHz just after 14:29 UT.

Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

X-flares are the strongest kind of solar flare.

They are typically responsible for the deepest radio blackouts and the most intense geomagnetic storms.

X1.5 logged on Jul 3.

This was the first X-flare of young Solar Cycle 25.

Many more are in the offing.

During the previous solar cycle (Solar Cycle 24) the sun produced 49 of them.

Forecasters believe that Solar Cycle 25 should be at least that active. We can therefore expect dozens more X-flares as the sun ramps up to its next Solar Maximum, expected ~2024/25–and given our ever-waning magnetosphere (due to the ongoing magnetic excursion), the impact is expected to be magnified.

As quickly as sunspot AR2838 appeared, however, it is already gone — on July 4 it rotated over the sun’s northwestern limb where it will spend the next two weeks transiting the farside of the sun:


If AR2828 manages to hold itself together, it will re-appear on the Earthside in late July — look out for some belated fourth of July fireworks then…

stay tuned for updates.

You should all be preparing for a grid down scenario.

It could happen at anytime, but particularly during this ramp up to SC25.

July 3 was a warning shot.

Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.

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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift

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