May 23, 2024

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NOAA: Severe geomagnetic storm Friday could impact infrastructure

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A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the entire First Coast until noon Friday. A Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch has been issued for the evening.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two different severe weather watches are in place for the First Coast Friday.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for the entire First Coast until noon Friday, while a ‘Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch’ has been issued for the evening, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

The SWPC says the watch is the first they’ve issued since January 2005.

A division of the National Weather Service, the SWPC began monitoring the sun following a “series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs)” in which started on Wednesday, a news release states. CMEs are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona; they cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth, according to the release.

“A large sunspot cluster has produced several moderate to strong solar flares since Wednesday at 5 a.m.,” the release states. “At least five flares were associated with CMEs that appear to be Earth-directed.”

Space weather forecasters with NOAA say “this is an unusual event,” and that additional solar eruptions could cause geomagnetic storm conditions to last through the weekend.

“Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth’s surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio and satellite operations,” SWPC said in the release. “SWPC has notified the operators of these systems so they can take protective action.”

SWPC also says geomagnetic storms can trigger displays of aurora on Earth. A severe geomagnetic storm includes the potential for aurora to be seen as far south as Alabama and Northern California, the release states.

Posted by U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday, May 9, 2024

ICYMI, the Space Weather Prediction Center has issued the first G4 (Severe) geomagnetic watch since 2005. The aurora may…

Posted by U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday, May 9, 2024





2024-05-10 14:29:37

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