An M Class Solar Flare is due to strike Earth this evening (US time).
(TheWeatherSpace.com) reports that “A M-class CME solar flare blasted toward the Earth just over a day ago. This solar flare was a full halo CME, which means it was large, wide, and directly toward the planet.
“Forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center say the start of the effects will arrive this evening, United States time. If you have clear skies then you may catch the bright northern lights, extending down into the Central United States through the weekend. The best time for aurora will be overnight on Saturday and into Sunday.
“Many are saying an M-Class is not all that strong and won’t do anything, however TheWeatherSpace.com Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin explains why one is.
“It is not the strength of the flare, but the direction, speed, and impact on the planet,” said Martin. “You can have an X-Class solar flare coming and it won’t hit right for any major impacts. Most of our major events that impacted the planet, taking cell service and GPS out were M-Class events, similar to this one.”
“The M-Class is a full halo CME, the type to bring a classic solar storm to the planet upon impact. Don’t be alarmed to see your GPS place you far from where you are or take some time to locate you. This should impact electronic devices worldwide, arriving in just under six hours from now.”
(Ed Note: If it hits while the US is in the dark, it’s unlikely that there will be really widespread effects – since solar flares only strike the sunlit areas of the planet. However, they have to pass by satellites on their way, and that’s what could cause GPS and communications disruptions).
Tepco Drills a Hole in Fukushima Reactor …
There are two opposing points of view following a report by TEPCO that it has inserted a camera probe into the failed No 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant.
AP reports Officials saying although they can’t see the fuel because of steam in the containment area, and although they can’t find the current water level, the internal temperature of 112F qualifies as proof that the “cold shutdown” has been successful.
The other point of view is that if they can’t see the fuel, it has broken completely through the containment system
“Given that steam forms when water boils this is an indication that the reactor is not in cold shutdown.”
These short occasional reports are intended to keep those who subscribe to Preparedness News aware of such things as solar flares and to encourage all of us to be diligent in preparing for the unexpected.
Our concern is that while NOAA does not expect the sun to reach the peak of its activity in the current cycle until 2013 – it is highly likely that we will see extremely strong flares in the near future – as this unexpected M Class flare illustrates. No-one could predict it happening – so how can they predict that we have to wait till 2013 before the sun goes into overdrive?
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