RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A few days ago, space weather forecasters saw an eruption from the surface of the Sun, and while it didn’t look impressive, something else happened that grabbed everyone’s attention.

“We had one eruption on the 28th of March that was headed toward Earth, and now we’ve had a second eruption,” Rob Steenburgh said, a Space Scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center. “So these two are combined now, and both heading towards Earth.”

Before you freak out, Steenburgh said while this is a strong geomagnetic storm, sitting at a 3 on a 1 to 5 scale, most people won’t notice impacts.

These storms happen when the magnetic field of a solar flare interacts with Earth’s magnetic field. It sounds complex, and maybe a little concerning, but this storm isn’t strong enough to cause infrastructure issues.

However, if you rely on GPS or use radio communication, expect some disruptions.

“We let airlines know (and) people who use high-frequency radios for communications,” Steenburgh said. “So there’s a variety of customers that we interact with to help them prepare for these occasions.”

Our friends to the north will likely see the northern lights take over the sky, too.

While a geomagnetic storm won’t have an impact on your cellphone, as we rely on more technology, space weather affects us even if we don’t notice.


“Space weather is becoming more impactful to society, so (as) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Space Weather Prediction Center, our role is to be America’s source for those watches, warnings and alerts.”

To keep up with this geomagnetic storm, as well as everything else the Space Weather Prediction Center does, visit their website here.