In an emailed statement to Newsweek, NOAA Space Weather Forecast Center chief Robert Rutledge told the publication that reports of a "massive" geomagnetic storm affecting our planet on March 18 may have been blown out of proportion. Fortunately, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is no chance for such a scenario happening. Although a geomagnetic storm is coming to the northern hemisphere, it sounds like a pretty mild one.
NOAA says the incoming solar storm is expected to be a G-1 "minor" storm.
Apparently, NOAA has no idea what is this all about as and how did Russians come up with that information. The largest of these storms are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), huge expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun's corona, or outer atmosphere. Meteorologists are predicting a G1-level storm - the lowest level on the solar storm scale, which peaks at G5. The category rises from G1 to G5 with the increase in the intensity of the geomagnetic storms.
The SWPC says that the northern lights could be seen as far south as ME and MI thanks to the stream of charged particles heading our way.More news: Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76
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And if you're far enough north, or perhaps in Antarctica (hi there!), you may get to feast your eyes on the aurora as the charged particles channelled towards the poles by Earth's magnetic field interact with the ionosphere.
The charged particles from a solar flare can create "weak power grid fluctuations" and have a "minor impact on satellite operations", the NOAA said. The most extreme storms can impact satellites and disrupt power grids on Earth.
A report from Tech Times that was published shortly after the series of "sensationalist" articles on the potential geomagnetic storm on March 18 detailed what some of these other reports claimed.
It can last for hours or for a couple of days. People are advised to take bottles of water, gas filled in car's tanks, important documents at hand, food supplies, etc in such cases.
The Northern Lights is a natural display in the earth's sky, which are predominantly normally seen in high-latitude regions such as around the Arctic and Antarctic.