Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Geomagnetic solar storm on Earth: Everything you need to know

Geomagnetic solar storm on Earth: Everything you need to know

"This is just garbage, quite frankly", Robert Rutledge, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), said of the coverage around this solar storm, in an interview.

Yesterday, the Russians have released the information that a strong magnetic storm will hit the Earth on March 18th.

How does a solar storm start?

But no, there is no massive solar storm on March 18 that could affect power grids and electrical systems and interfere with Earth's magnetosphere.

What are the effects of a solar storm?

Weather Network says that the effects of the storm will be pretty minimal.

Apparently, NOAA has no idea what is this all about as and how did Russians come up with that information.

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When the clouds react with the Earth, they can interact with the Earth's magnetic field and cause geomagnetic storms. Meteorologists are predicting a G1-level storm - the lowest level on the solar storm scale, which peaks at G5.

Usually, geomagnetic storms are cataloged in 5 different main levels depending on the magnitude, from G1 to G5 levels of geomagnetic storms' magnitudes. As per the stats, Earth faces over 2,000 G1 categories' geomagnetic storms in every 11 years i.e. about twice a day. According to NASA, the lights could reach as far south as ME and northern MI.

According to the SWPC, it's possible that the solar storm - which will occur when charged particles from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field - will cause "weak power grid fluctuations" and may have a "minor impact on satellite operations". When compared to 1859, yet another similarly intense storm was seen in 2012 which disrupted power grids, however, it was not too risky since it flyby near Earth with a margin of nine days.

Information on the internet is, unfortunately, often easy to manipulate, but there is really nothing to worry about when it comes to the geomagnetic storm on March 18. One storm occurred in 1859, while the latter occurred in 1989, which resulted in a nine-hour blackout in Canada. People are advised to take bottles of water, gas filled in car's tanks, important documents at hand, food supplies, etc in such cases.

A benefit of solar flares can be enhanced auroras or natural light displays such as the Northern Lights seen in the countries of the Arctic Circle.

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