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HomeNewsLocal NewsThe geomagnetic storm sent plasma blasting toward the Earth.

The geomagnetic storm sent plasma blasting toward the Earth.

A severe geomagnetic storm was underway after eruptions from the Sun sent plasma blasting toward Earth, with the potential to produce Northern Lights as far south as Alabama and Northern California heading into Monday.

Space weather forecasters issued a geomagnetic storm watch through Monday, saying an outburst of plasma from a solar flare could interfere with radio transmissions on Earth. It could also make for great aurora viewing.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a Geomagnetic Storm Alert on Sunday after Sun-observing satellites recorded an X 1.1 solar flare and later a coronal hole high-speed stream, or CH HSS

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The G3 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect. However, conditions are showing signs of weakening. G3 watch remains active until the end of the UT day, then lessening impacts expected to G1 (Minor) storm levels.

There’s no reason for the public to be concerned, according to the alert issued Saturday by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

The storm has the ability to interrupt high-frequency radio transmissions, such as by aircraft trying to communicate with distant traffic control towers.

Every 11 years, the sun’s magnetic field flips, meaning its north and south poles switch positions. Solar activity changes during that cycle, and it’s now near its most active, called the solar maximum.

 

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