The US Agency is forecasting a powerful geomagnetic storm for Saturday.
The Space Weather Prediction Center in the United States has announced a cautionary alert for a powerful geomagnetic storm on Saturday. This could potentially impact power and communication systems in the Northern Hemisphere due to a major solar flare detected on the sun.
The agency announced on its website that on Friday from 0900 to 1200 UTC, G3, or intense geomagnetic storm conditions, were detected.
According to the agency, a geometric storm is a powerful disruption in the Earth’s magnetic field that can fluctuate in strength for several hours.
The organization reported that the rise in geomagnetic activity was mainly due to a CME from the sun, triggered by a moderate solar flare observed on Tuesday. This CME joined several other smaller ones that were already on their way to Earth.
Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are intense explosions on the surface of the sun that release large amounts of extremely hot gas and radiation into outer space.
Frequently, these solar flares move towards Earth. Although the harmful radiation from the flare cannot penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and physically harm humans, a powerful enough flare can disrupt the atmospheric layer where GPS and other communication signals travel.
The agency has informed infrastructure operators, such as power companies, to take necessary measures to reduce any potential impacts.
A severe geomagnetic storm alert is in effect until the end of Friday, with predictions of minor G1 geomagnetic storms continuing until Saturday.
The impact of the geomagnetic storm that is most easily observed by the general population is the aurora borealis, commonly referred to as the northern lights.
On Friday, The Washington Post announced that vivid auroras were observed as far south as Arizona in the United States, with even more dazzling displays reported in areas with higher latitudes.
Social media also shared sightings of auroras in Australia.