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01st Dec 2023

Warnings issued over internet blackouts as huge solar storm to hit Earth today

Nina McLaughlin

The planet could be in for a rocky next few days

Space weather forecasters have issued warnings over the solar storms that are set to hit Earth today.

Doctor Tamitha Skov stated that the storm, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), has the potential to mess with the planet’s magnetic field, causing a whole load of knock on effects.

Interference with Earth’s magnetic field could mean that communication services such as GPS and, god forbid, the internet could go down.

Skov wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter: “A Direct Hit! The impressive #solarstorm launched in the Earth-strike zone has been modeled by NASA.

“The storm is predicted to hit Earth by midday December 1. Along with two earlier storms already en route means we have a 1,2,3-punch.

“If the magnetic field is oriented correctly, expect #aurora to reach deep into mid-latitudes.

“Amateur #radio & #GPS reception issues are likely, especially on Earth’s nightside. G3+ conditions are possible with this storm series.”

However, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told people that the ‘general public need not be concerned’, and that ‘infrastructure operators have been notified to take action to mitigate possible impacts’.

In fact, the solar storms may bring somewhat of a joy to the UK, as the Met Office has said the storms bring a higher chance of seeing the Northern Lights from our shores.

“This activity brings a chance of visible aurora to parts of the UK today and to a lesser extent tomorrow (1st and 2nd Dec),” they said.

“However, the strongest activity is currently expected to occur during daylight hours, although there is a chance of views of the aurora as far south as northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland given good views of the northern horizon early into the coming night.”