Major solar storms won't hit Earth this week, says NOAA

Angelo Anderson
March 14, 2018

A "solar storm" is set to slam into Earth tomorrow - and it could bring stunning displays of the the Northern Lights to the north of England. Note that there are certain beliefs associated with solar storms that aren't proved yet as per which, these storms can cause headaches, sleeplessness, and dizziness too.

While severe solar storms have been known to knock out power stations and electrical transformers in the past, Bob Rutledge at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, told ABC News that the storm on Wednesday and Thursday is a run of the mill, no big deal G1 storm. Rutledge went on to say that he's unsure what "equinox cracks" are, and that the SWPC doesn't use that term. Meteorologists are predicting a G1-level storm - the lowest level on the solar storm scale, which peaks at G5.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a minor geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for March 14 and 15.

The sun is actually pretty quiet at the moment.

That's a far cry from the serious power outages touted by some. These storms could turn out to be extremely risky because they can disrupt telecommunications, navigation, and electrical power around the Earth.

This forecast G1 storm is likely to be caused by a different phenomenon - a coronal hole.

In the past, large-scale geomagnetic events have disrupted communication satellites and caused blackouts.

"Widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur, some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts", the SWPC said in an explanation of a G5 storm. If that occurs in Earth's direction, we can see the effects as the charged particles interact with our magnetosphere.

"Closer to Earth's surface, solar activity can cause disruptions of radio signals (particularly HF), provide a small dose of radiation to passengers on high-latitude flights, and provoke auroras (northern and southern lights)".

Just because this storm isn't up to the hype doesn't mean that solar storms in general should be ignored.

Charged particles from that flare are now on their way to our planet - and are predicted to hit tomorrow.

The largest recorded geomagnetic storm, referred to as the Carrington Event, struck in September 1859.

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