The storm was classified as “severe” for Thursday, August 18, and “moderate” for Friday, August 19, according to the US Weather Service SWPC forecast.
Illustration of the impact of the solar wind on the Earth’s magnetosphere / NASA
The solar wind caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth will collide with the Earth’s magnetic field today, Thursday, August 18, 2022, and tomorrow, Friday, August 19, 2022, causing solar storm, or geomagnetic storm, a temporary perturbation of the Earth’s magnetosphere, which in these hours follows the first minor event that occurred yesterday, August 17th. According to specialists from the US Meteorological Service SWPC, the intensity of the phenomenon will “Strong” (G3) a day today, and the intensity “Moderate” (G2) in tomorrow, based on the gravity scale (G1 to G5) of geomagnetic storms used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA).
Solar storm forecast for today and tomorrow
Despite the numerous coronal mass ejections that have left the Sun since August 14, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) predicts that most of them have little to no effect on the Earth. However, at least four coronal mass ejections have potential components directed towards our planet. “The reliability of predictions for the impact on Earth of these coronal mass ejections is low to moderate, as most of them must pass in front of or south of the Earth’s orbit,” the geomagnetic storm warning issued by SWPC clarified. However, model runs indicate a combined arrival of some of these coronal mass ejections at or near Earth. starting August 18th and their influence is likely to continue on August 19th.“.
Why is today’s solar storm dangerous?
The impact of a (severe) G3 geomagnetic storm, such as one forecast for today, is described by SWPC experts as “generally minimal”, although they understand the possible problems both in space and in satellite activity, as well as in relation to GPS navigation systems and low and high frequency radio. The storm can also interfere with the power systems of some devices, which, for example, can cause false alarms in the security system.
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Finally, a solar storm with intensity G3 can lead to it. northern lights shift from its usual polar location: in the presence of other factors, SWPC experts note, the aurora can be observed over parts of Pennsylvania, Iowa, northern Oregon. In the event of a storm of moderate intensity (G2), like tomorrow, the aurora could be observed as far as New York and Idalo (typically 55° geomagnetic latitude).
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