Sunday, April 8, 2018

Minor Geomagnetic Storm May Hit Earth on Tuesday or Wednesday

Credit: NOAA

A G1-class (minor) geomagnetic storm may hit our planet on April 10-11 according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is due to a stream of solar wind expected to strike Earth's magnetic field on these days.

“A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for 10 and 11 April 2018 due to the arrival of a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream,” warns NOAA on its website.

As a result of the possible minor geomagnetic storm, auroras could be visible around Earth's poles and weak power grid fluctuations could occur. 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.

NOAA informs that solar activity is expected to be generally at low levels throughout April. However, active level is predicted for April 18-23, when more minor geomagnetic storms may occur due to recurrent coronal hole high speed streams (CH HSSs).

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment