Solar storm today and tomorrow, what are the risks of coronal mass ejection to Earth

Forecasted by the US meteorological service SWPC, the storm was defined as “strong” for Thursday 18 August and “moderate” for Friday 19 August.

Illustration of the solar wind hitting the Earth's magnetosphere / NASA

Illustration of the solar wind hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere / NASA

The solar wind, caused by the coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth, will impact with the Earth’s magnetic field today, Thursday 18 August 2022, and tomorrow, Friday 19 August 2022, causing a solar storm, or geomagnetic storm, a temporary disturbance of the earth’s magnetosphere that in these hours follows a first minor event that occurred yesterday 17 August. According to experts from the US meteorological service SWPC, the phenomenon will be of intensity “Strong” (G3) in the day today, and intensity “Moderate” (G2) in that of tomorrow, based on the gravity scale (from G1 to G5) of the geomagnetic storms used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) of the United States.

Solar storms predicted for today and tomorrow

Despite the multiple coronal mass ejections that have left the Sun since August 14, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) predicts that most have little or no impact on Earth. However, at least four coronal mass ejections have potential components directed towards our planet. “Forecast confidence is low to moderate regarding the impact on Earth of these coronal mass ejections, as most are expected to pass in front of or south of Earth’s orbit – specifies the geomagnetic storm warning issued by the SWPC -. However, model runs indicate the combined arrival of some of these coronal mass ejections on or near Earth. beginning on August 18, and their influence is likely to continue on August 19“.

What are the risks of today’s solar storm

The impact of a (strong) G3-degree geomagnetic storm, such as the one forecast for today, is described as “generally minimal” by SWPC experts, although they understand possible problems both in space and on the activity of satellites, also with regard to GPS navigation systems and low and high frequency radio. The storm could also interfere with the power systems of some devices, which could cause false security alarms, for example.

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Finally, a solar storm of G3 intensity can result in it shift of the northern lights from its normal polar residence: in the presence of other factors, the SWPC experts point out, the aurora can be observed over portions of Pennsylvania, Iowa, northern Oregon. In the case of a storm of moderate intensity (G2) like tomorrow’s, the aurora can be observed as far as New York and Idalo (typically 55 ° geomagnetic latitude).

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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