Strong solar flare could bring auroras to U.S. this weekend

National News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A strong solar flare that erupted from the sun Thursday could lead to some auroras this weekend across parts of the United States.

The geomagnetic storm that could develop could also result in some GPS and satellite issues.

The current aurora forecast has the visible line getting as far south as Ohio and the northeast states, but it is unlikely “northern lights” will be visible at night or early in the morning in North Carolina.

NOAA, which issues many weather watches and warnings here on Earth, issued a G3 Geomagnetic Storm Watch for this weekend when the solar flare is expected to reach Earth.

The scale for geomagnetic storms gest from a minor storm at G1 to an extreme storm at G5.

The eruption from the sun, more than 90 million miles away produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) Thursday, October 28, 2021, about 11:35 p.m. EDT.

The CME sends high-energy particles toward our planet. Most of that energy is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, but some of it filters in from the north and south pole. This is how the auroras form.

NOAA also warn that the geomagnetic storm could cause voltage irregularities and GPS and other satellite issues in addition to some radio issues. Solar flare forecasts are very volatile and usually go through many changes, so stay tuned for adjustments in the forecast heading through the weekend.

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