Scientists announced the possibility that a severe geomagnetic storm will affect Earth starting at around 1200 GMT 8 March; the storm could last through early 9 March. The source of the storm is a coronal mass ejection, or CME, in which charged particles ejected from the suns corona will enter the Earths upper atmosphere. The risk to living creatures, including humans, is nonexistent.
Background and Analysis
Scientists said that this CME is one of the largest to strike the planet since December 2006. The storm has the potential to disrupt technology across the planet, especially in areas closer to the poles above 45 degrees north latitude, and below 45 degrees south latitude. The Earths magnetic field acts to concentrate the particles in these regions.
Effects could include degraded cellular and satellite phone communications; degraded radio and television broadcasts (the effect will likely be worst in the AM and shortwave bands); and difficulty with GPS and satellite navigation systems. Some airlines have rescheduled and rerouted flights in polar regions during the height of the storm, due to the possibility of interference with navigational and radio systems; expect some possible flight delays. The storm also has the potential to stress power grids and cause blackouts in some areas. Communications over hardwired systems (e.g. landline phones, Internet, etc.) will likely not be affected.