Just days after Earth was hit by a coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar wind blast appears to be due to Earth on Sunday; is currently moving at a fast 1,118,468 miles per hour to the planet.
A small G1 class geomagnetic storm is possible late Saturday to much of Sunday as the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. Although the Center for Space Weather Forecasting of the National Meteorological Service has not yet issued any recommendations for this solar wind, a clock or warning for this event may be published tomorrow.
In the scheme of geomagnetic storms G1 is considered the weakest. Although there may be some slight fluctuations in the power grid, especially in northern latitudes, this type of event is more impactful for satellites orbiting the Earth in space. A G1 event could also trigger a display of the Northern Lights or aurora borealis as far south as Michigan and Maine.
Although usually known for their weather forecasts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Weather Service (NWS) are also responsible for “space weather.” Although there are private companies and other agencies that monitor and forecast space weather, the official source of signals and warnings from the space environment is the Space Weather Forecasting Center (SWPC). SWPC is located in Boulder, Colorado and is an NWS service center that is part of NOAA. The Space Weather Forecasting Center is also one of nine National Environmental Forecasting Centers (NCEPs), as they monitor current space weather activity 24/7, 365 days a year.
Experts point out that we are now entering an active solar cycle and such incidents will increase in frequency and intensity in the coming months.