Just days after Earth was hit by a coronal mass ejection (CME), it appears another blast of solar wind is due to impact Earth on Sunday; it is currently traveling at a brisk 1,118,468 mph towards the planet.
A minor G1-class Geomagnetic Storm is possible late Saturday into much of Sunday as the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. While the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center has not issued any advisory for this solar wind yet, a watch or warning could be posted tomorrow for this event.
In the scheme of geomagnetic storms, a G1 is considered the weakest. While there could be some weak power grid fluctuations especially at northern latitudes, this type of event is more impactful to satellites that orbit Earth in space. A G1 event could also trigger a display of the Northern Lights or aurora as far south as Michigan and Maine.
While typically known for their weather forecasts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Weather Service (NWS) is also responsible for “space weather.” While there are private companies and other agencies that monitor and forecast space weather, the official source for alerts and warnings of the space environment is the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The SWPC is located in Boulder, Colorado and is a service center of the NWS, which is part of NOAA. The Space Weather Prediction Center is also one of nine National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) as they monitor current space weather activity 24/7, 365 days a year.
Experts have indicated that we are entering an active solar cycle now and incidents like this will increase with frequency and intensity in the coming months.