Weather Tidbits: Geomagnetic Storm Scale

The geomagnetic storm scale is explored in this Weather Tidbits. A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance on Earth’s magentosphere that is caused by solar wind and its interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field. The scale used by NOAA and the Space Weather Prediction Center is the G-Scale and consist of 5 categories. A G1 is a minor geomagnetic storm and involves weak power fluctuations and minor satellite impacts. A G1 storm is focused over high latitudes, with northern Michigan & Maine being the southern limits of aurora visibility. A G2 is moderate storm with high latitude power & minor communication issues; that produces visibility for the northern states from Idaho to New York.

A G3 is a strong geomagnetic storm that involves voltage corrections needed & minor GPS interruption. A G3 storm is visible for mid-latitudes from Illinois to Oregon and this includes Delmarva. A G4 is severe storm and consists of power voltage control & satellite tracking problems; that is capable of producing auroras visible for southern states from northern California to Alabama. Lastly, a G5 is an extreme geomagnetic storm that deals with major power grid & satellite failures & blackouts. A G5 storm will produce auroras visible towards Florida & southern Texas with the recent sightings dating back in 2003 & 1989.

Categories: Weather Tidbits