Solar Radiation Storm In Progress

Solar Radiation and Geomagnetic Storm

Space Weather Prediction Center

Strong (R3) Radio, (S3) Solar Radiation, and (G3) Geomagnetic storm levels will impact the Earth over the next few days.

Noteable impacts:

Global Positioning System (GPS):  Primarily to users with high-accuracy requirements (surveying, precision navigation, etc).

HF Communication:  HF unusable at the highest latitudes (Polar Regions).

Aurora (Northern Lights): will be commonly visible in Alaska and the northernmost states of the Lower 48. Tips for viewing the Aurora from the Space Weather Prediction Center

Share your pictures of the Aurora on the Space Weather Prediction Center’s Facebook


Photo Courtesty of:  NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory


Additional Details:

Radio:  A solar flare erupted from the Sun on Tuesday night at 7:04pm EST, creating a Strong (R3 level) Radio Blackout. 

The initial affects were mainly felt over the Pacific Ocean, during the central U.S. overnight period, which happened to be the sunlit side of the Earth at that time.  The primary impact was a temporary degradation of High Frequency (HF) radio communications, which also affected communications with commercial aircraft over the Pacific.

Solar Radiation:  Meanwhile, a Strong (S3 level) Solar Radiation Storm is occurring. This storm is continuing to affect HF communication in the polar regions, rendering HF unusable at the highest latitudes. Some commercial airlines are avoiding the polar routes because of the disruption to HF communication.

Geomagnetic:  Geomagnetic storming is currently reaching the G2 (Moderate) level, as a result of solar activity originating on March 5th.

Strong (G3) level geomagnetic activity is expected early Thursday with the arrival of the coronal mass ejection associated with Tuesday’s R3 event. These G3 levels are most likely to cause visible aurora (Northern and Southern Lights) and could affect precision GPS (Global Positioning System) devices. These G3 levels are not expected to cause damage to power grid elements. 

The sunspot region which is responsible for this activity, known as NOAA Region 1429, remains potent and subsequent activity is possible throughout the next 10 days as this region rotates across the visible solar disk and out of our immediate view.


The solar flare (bright spot in the upper left) as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory at 7:04 p.m. EST.




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