“Huge geomagnetic storm” hits Earth — “So intense it far overshadows anything this solar cycle” — WashPost: Severe CME “causing fluctuations on power grid”


“Huge geomagnetic storm” hits Earth — “So intense it far overshadows anything this solar cycle” — Gov’t: “A great deal stronger than expected… eruptions combined into larger shock front” — WashPost: Severe CME “causing fluctuations on power grid” — Officials warn of “widespread voltage control problems” (ENENews, March 18, 2015):

AFP (emphasis added): A pair of solar eruptions… unleashed a severe geomagnetic storm that could disrupt power… US officials said… “These two eruptions combined into one eruption, one sort of larger shockfront” [NOAA’s Thomas Berger] said… Bob Rutledge, forecast lead at the Space Weather Prediction Center [said] “We did have kind of the G1, minor level… We have seen intensity that is a great deal stronger than originally anticipated.”

Guardian: Two blasts of magnetic plasma left the sun on Sunday, eventually combining and arriving on Earth on Tuesday about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expectedAuthorities warned of possible disruption to power grids.

Sky News: Skies light up across the world… following a huge geomagnetic solar stormAuthorities warned the bursts of radiation could disrupt communications and power.

Washington Post: A severe geomagnetic storm whipped through Earth’s magnetosphere on Tuesday, causing fluctuations on power grids… Space weather models predicted just a ‘glancing blow’… which instead have caused a stronger disruption here on Earth.

UPI: The storm is the strongest recorded during the current solar cycle, an 11-year period.

ABC KTLV: This storm is the strongest in the current solar cycle, which began in 2008.

Forbes: [A] level G4 geomagnetic storm, the most intense seen in the current solar cycle.

Discovery News: The most powerful solar storm of the current solar cycle is currently reverberating around the globe… [It] is so intense that it far overshadows anything that has come before it in our sun’s current solar cycle. Approximately every 11 years, the sun waxes and wanes in magnetic activity… The storm is still ongoing and space weather experts will be closely watching… these can have global impacts — from overloading powergrids

CNBC: The geomagnetic storm is the strongest so far of the current solar cycle, which happens every 11 years or so.

NOAA Space Weather Alerts:

  • Issued: Mar 17 2:01p, 5:57p, 11:28p UTC
  • ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 8 [of 9]
  • Synoptic Periods: 12p-6p, 9p-12a UTC
  • NOAA Scale: G4 – Severe
  • Possible widespread voltage control problems and some protective systems may mistakenly trip out key assets from the power grid…
  • Aurora may be seen as low as Alabama

See also: Solar storms threaten nuke plants: Electric power outages could last “for years or even decades” — Risk significantly outweighs that of major earthquakes

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