Solar Storm May Disrupt Power, Put On Light Show
Several days ago, a large hole in the sun’s corona opened up, sending solar flares towards earth. The geomagnetic storm will put on a display tonight for those in places such as Alaska, the Dakotas, Michigan, and potentially as far south as Nebraska.
The NOAA has issued a solar storm watch for tonight. If you live in North America and want to get a viewing of the Northern Lights, you have a decent shot tonight.
The light show, known as the Northern Lights, will occur during a less active solar flare cycle.
Tonight’s geomagnetic storm is classified as a G2 solar storm. The highest classification of any solar flare storm is G5, in which case, global power outages would be expected.
In the case of tonight’s storm, power disruptions are possible, but not that likely. More likely is rather an intense showing of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Power surges are possible with tonight’s storm. The longer the exposure to the solar flare storm, the more likely power transformers can incur damage.
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Space technology could see its GPS units become temporarily faulty.
Tonight’s solar storm will be moving at a mindblowing 600 kilometers per second. This quite likely means a short window of exposure for our earthling devices.
So while your EMP attack survival plan should always be in place, I wouldn’t be overly concerned over tonight’s theatrics.
The biggest effect is most likely to be the solar winds interacting with protons and electrons and creating a spectacular light show. These protons and electrons, known as charged particles, will inundate the ionosphere and drift towards our magnetic poles. Once the charged particles reach oxygen and nitrogen, the light show is likely to commence.
You’ll need to be in the northern United States or Canada to view the light show (cloud cover pending). Your location, along with a little luck in the way of clear skies and distance from modern urban grids, could result in a pretty cool show.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.