Solar flares causing radio blackouts
Solar flares emitted by the sun are expected to produce a strong geomagnetic storm and a moderate solar radiation storm, causing radio blackouts within the next 12 to 18 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Geomagnetic storms are disturbances in the geomagnetic field caused by gusts in solar winds that blow by Earth.
Three moderate-level radio blackouts have been observed in Earth’s atmosphere since Tuesday, Aug. 2, said John Metz, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi. The blackouts are expected to continue through the weekend, he said.
The strongest geomagnetic storm is forecast to reach Earth about mid-day Friday, Aug. 5. A strong geomagnetic storm can cause intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems. HF radio interference might take place.
A moderate solar radiation storm might expose passengers and crew in high-flying aircraft to be exposed to elevated radiation risks. Such a storm also could cause infrequent upsets in satellite operations.