NOAA forecasters have upgraded the strength of the solar storm which was scheduled to hit the Earth tomorrow, August 18. Earlier, it was categorized as a G2 class storm but after looking at the data, a G3 class solar storm is feared. Know the damage it can deal.
The Earth is set for a rough ride tomorrow, August 18, and the day after. It was earlier reported that a cannibal coronal mass ejection (CME) was headed towards the Earth and a solar storm was set to strike our planet tomorrow and continue till the next day. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has now revisited their previous forecast and after observing the data have decided to upgrade the solar storm from G2 class to a G3 class. This means the intensity of the storm is going to be much higher than previously anticipated. So, what can this storm do and should we be worried? Read on to find out.
This was reported by SpaceWeather.com which noted on its website, “NOAA forecasters have upgraded their geomagnetic storm watch from category G2 (moderate) to category G3 (strong) in response to models suggesting multiple CME impacts on Aug. 18-19. During such storms naked-eye auroras can descend into the USA as far south as Illinois and Oregon (geomagnetic latitude 50 degrees)”.
Highlighting that the storm can still get stronger, the report also reassured that an extreme severity was likely out of the question. It added, “Although the storm could become “strong”, power grids and satellites are in no danger. Extreme storms are required for that”. In that case, what can this storm do?
NOAA upgrades the intensity of incoming solar storm, now it’s a G3 class storm
A G3 class solar storm is capable of causing widespread radio blackouts and GPS disruptions. This means, tomorrow independent ships and private jets will face communication challenges during the solar storm. Further, GPS usage can also see some fluctuations in it. Amateur radio operators, also known as HAM radio operators, will also find their frequencies blocked for the duration of the storm.
Apart from that, small satellites might face the risk of being dislodged from their orbits and sensitive instruments can potentially receive some damage, although it is not very likely. However, if the storm was of G5 class, it would easily destroy these small satellites as well as cause power grid failures.