High speed solar wind stream may cause strong geomagnetic storm

SANSA Space Weather forecasters are predicting the possibility of a strong (NOAA scale G3 – http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/noaa-scales-explanation) geomagnetic storm over the next 24 hours due to a high speed solar wind stream impacting Earth’s magnetic field. Solar activity is currently moderate with background x-ray flux at upper B-class levels with occasional C-class solar flares.

“Space weather data is showing that the storm is currently in progress with solar wind speed reaching approximately 600km/s,” said SANSA Space Weather Practitioner, Mpho Tshisaphungo. “Strong geomagnetic storm conditions may be expected over the next 24 hours.”

A G3 storm may lead to disruption of HF communications, power system voltage irregularities, increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and GPS errors.

While geomagnetic storms can impact technology on earth and in space they will not harm humans and other life forms on Earth as we are protected by the Earth’s magnetic field.

The above image shows the coronal hole which is producing the high speed solar wind stream currently impacting the Earth’s magnetic field.

Updated information on the progress of the geomagnetic storm can be viewed on http://spaceweather.sansa.org.za/

For more information contact:
Catherine Webster
SANSA Space Science Communications
Email: cwebster@sansa.org.za