Sunday, May 19, 2019

Minor Geomagnetic Storm May Hit Earth on Tuesday

A G1-class (minor) geomagnetic storm may hit the Earth on Tuesday, May 21, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The storming is expected when a stream of solar wind, flowing from a hole in the sun’s atmosphere, will reach our planet.

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.

NOAA informs that solar activity between May 22 and June 8 is expected to be at very low levels, with a slight chance of C-class flares. There is a chance that another G1-class geomagnetic storm will occur on May 29. This could be due to the influence of a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS).

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.

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