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National Weather Service Warns Of Geomagnetic Storm That Could Cause Black Out

The National Weather Service space forecasters have issued a warning for a geomagnetic storm that is set to impact the U.S. on Friday and Saturday.

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center reported a sunspot cluster that created intense solar flares, which resulted in coronal mass ejections.

Forecasters are warning the storm may cause disruptions to phone services, navigational devices, radio, and electric power grids.

This is the first alert by the NOAA for a Geomagnetic Storm in over 19 years.

Per Nola:

In a rare move, National Weather Service space forecasters issued a severe geomagnetic storm watch for the U.S. on Friday and Saturday that could potentially disrupt power or phone service in some parts of the world.

A sunspot cluster has produced “several moderate to strong solar flares” from the sun since 4 a.m. central Wednesday, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado said Thursday afternoon.

At least five of the flares have caused coronal mass ejections. Also known as CMEs, the ejections are large clouds of magnetic plasma that erupt into space and can cause radio and magnetic disturbances on Earth.

Forecasters will monitor NOAA and NASA’s space assets for the onset of these geomagnetic storms, which could persist through the weekend.

The storms could potentially disrupt phone service, electric power grids, navigation, radio and satellite operations. Space forecasters have advised operators to take protective action.

Here’s what Axios reported:

The Sun has been emitting “strong” solar flares of high-energy radiation, raising the possibility of communications disruptions but also that the Northern Lights could be seen across parts of the U.S. from Friday evening.

That’s according to NOAA, which issued a “very rare” Severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch — the first such alert in 19 years.

Although rare, such large bursts of plasma from the Sun, known as extreme coronal mass ejections (CME), cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth.

CMEs have the potential to harm satellites, impact infrastructure and disrupt communications.

“A large sunspot cluster has produced several moderate to strong solar flares since Wednesday,” per a statement from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center on Thursday.

“At least five flares were associated with CMEs that appear to be Earth-directed.”


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