WASHINGTON – A solar geomagnetic storm capable of producing “power grid fluctuations” is expected to hit earth Tuesday, Aug. 2 in what the government’s NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center is calling a moderate storm.
The storm was sparked by a coronal mass ejection that can be visually seen in a NASA space video.
“Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms,” the NOAA alert read.
The primary impact is expected to be north of 55 degrees latitude, NOAA reported.
Northern lights may be seen as low as New York, Wisconsin and Washington state, according to NOAA.
On NOAA’s 5-number scale, this one is a G2, which if it is a “long-duration storm” could “cause transformer damage.” A G5 storm, the most severe type, can cause “complete collapse or blackouts,” NOAA says.
The 1859 Carrington Event, which occurred prior to the modern-day electrical grid, was a G5. It rendered telegraph machines – the most advance electronics of the day – unworkable.
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