All Weather News

Strong Solar Storm Forecast This Week

8 Dec 2020, 6:21 pm

This Fall, the Sun entered a new solar cycle after taking a “nap” for a few years.  That means the largest object in our solar system is about to get active again by 2025.

“As we emerge from solar minimum and approach Solar Cycle 25’s maximum, it is important to remember solar activity never stops; it changes form as the pendulum swings,” said Lika Guhathakurta, solar scientist at the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


But before we finish 2020, there is a possibility we could see what some say could be the strongest solar storm of the year late Wednesday into Thursday.   NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has Geomagnetic Storm Watches issued for December 9-11.  NOAA’s definition of a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.  This may seem like something “out of this world” but in reality, we could experience several things if predictions are correct.

One of the most discussed topics this week (if the weather cooperates!) would be the ability to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, pretty far south in the United States.  This could include cities from the Northeast to the Great Lakes to even into the Northern Plains.

The unfortunate part could be an interference with satellites which could lead to some periods of a loss in internet and satellite radio/television services.  Electrical power grids can also be damaged with some geomagnetic events, which could lead to communication issues.

“There’s danger to communications on Earth that can be disrupted,” explained Dan Seaton, senior scientist for solar physics in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.  “GPS could be a little less reliable during a Space Weather event, and power grids are actually vulnerable to power surges that could cause blackouts.

While this might seem like a scary event, don’t worry, this will not be a storm that will destroy our planet!  You just might notice some disruptions to your every day routine.





About the author
Meredith is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the American Meteorological Society.  She was born and raised in Cleveland but has worked from coast to coast covering almost every type of weather.  Meredith is a weather, space, and STEM journalist and has been live out in the field during destructive tropical storms on the Gulf Coast of Florida, raging wildfires in Southern Cali... Load Morefornia, and covered the wreckage from tornadoes in the Great Plains. In 2009, she reported on the damaging hail storm during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and in 2017, the historic California winter storms that produced record rain totals and devastating flash flooding.  Prior to joining WeatherNation, Meredith worked at KEYT/KKFX in Santa Barbara, CA, KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD, WWSB-TV in Sarasota, FL, and began her career as an intern at WGN-TV in Chicago.  She was Santa Barbara's "Favorite Weathercaster of the Year" in 2016 and the Community Partner of the Year in 2017 for her volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties and awarded with the 2018 Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award. Meredith is the current chair of the American Meteorological Society's Station Scientist Committee, which focuses on raising greater awareness & outreach when it comes to science education for viewers.  She's also an accomplished journalist, producing weather and science stories including rocket launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the new GOES-16 satellite and it's impacts on weather forecasting.  Meredith was personally invited by NASA's Johnson Space Center to interview astronauts on the International Space Station and was the only meteorologist in the nation to do an exclusive report accompanying the GOES-West satellite from Colorado to Florida, reporting on and covering it's launch in 2018.  Meredith's also worked on features that took her paragliding along the coast, white water rafting in Northern California, learning to surf in the Pacific Ocean, and how to be an aerial photographer while flying a single engine plane! Say hi on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn!