Monday, July 23, 2018

Minor Geomagnetic Storm Expected to Hit Earth on Tuesday

Credit: NOAA

A G1-class (minor) geomagnetic storm is expected to hit our planet on Tuesday, July 24 when a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that there is a 65 percent chance that the gaseous material flowing from the Sun will trigger minor storming on Earth.

“A G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for July 24 due to the anticipated arrival of a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream [CH HSS],” NOAA informs.

G1-class storm can trigger auroras visible around Earth's poles and weak power grid fluctuations. Such storm could also have minor impact on satellite operations.

In general, geomagnetic storms can increase the density and distribution of density in the upper atmosphere, causing extra drag on satellites in low-earth orbit. The local heating also creates strong horizontal variations in the in the ionospheric density that can modify the path of radio signals and create errors in the positioning information provided by GPS. While the storms create beautiful aurora, they also can disrupt navigation systems such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and create harmful geomagnetic induced currents in the power grid and pipelines.

Fast CH HSSs can impact Earth’s magnetosphere enough to cause periods of geomagnetic storming to the G1-G2 levels; although rarer cases of stronger storming may also occur. The larger and more expansive coronal holes can often be a source for high solar wind speeds that buffet Earth for many days.

NOAA also revealed that the solar activity is expected to remain very low until August 18.

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