Strong Solar Geomagnetic Storm Expected Tonight and Friday
- A very energetic solar eruption was observed Tuesday afternoon that produced a strong radio blackout and a moderate solar radiation storm on Earth.
- The most delayed aspect of a solar eruption is the arrival of the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) which generally follows a day or two after the solar eruption and can cause a Geomagnetic Storm.
- The NWS Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is predicting the arrival of the CME from Tuesday's eruption to arrive at Earth during the early morning hours of Thursday EST.
- Since the eruption was intense and Earth-directed, SWPC is predicting that the Geomagnetic Storm will be strong.
- Due to the nature of solar events, there will be very little new information until the time the CME reaches the NASA sensors close to Earth. Once it reaches those sensors, SWPC can issue short-term, higher-confidence warnings.
- The region of the sun responsible will be in a position to affect Earth for most of the next week as it continues to make its way across the sun, so subsequent activity is possible.
Potential Impacts from a Strong Geomagnetic Storm
Voltage corrections may be required, false alarms triggered on some protection devices.
Surface charging may occur on satellite components, drag may increase on low-Earth-orbit satellites, and corrections may be needed for orientation problems.
Intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems may occur, HF radio may be intermittent.
Aurora has been seen as low as Illinois and Oregon (but more typically to around 50 degrees latitude-that is the Upper Peninsula on north).
In addition, the moderate Solar Radiation Storm currently being observed is likely disrupting polar High Frequency radio communications.
Return to News Archive
NWS Space Weather Prediction Center
NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms