Solar storm possible Thursday; Here’s why it could happen

A moderate Geomagnetic Storm has been forecast from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center for April 14. An old sunspot erupted on April 11 and produced a CME or Coronal Mass Ejection.

>>Skywitness 7

A CME is just a large expulsion of plasma and magnetic field from the sun’s corona. A fast CME can reach the Earth in 15-18 hours but a slower one would take a few days.

>>Mark your calendars: Miami Valley will be included in total solar eclipse in 2024

A G2 Geomagnetic Storm can produce these possible impacts according to the SWPC:

Power systems: High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms, long-duration storms may cause transformer damage.

Spacecraft operations: Corrective actions to orientation may be required by ground control; possible changes in drag affect orbit predictions.

Other systems: HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes, and aurora has been seen as low as New York and Idaho (typically 55° geomagnetic lat.)

Most commonly, we talk about geomagnetic storms because they can make the Northern Lights visible to states that normally can’t see them. This predicted storm isn’t expected to be strong enough to make them visible to the Miami Valley.