Solar Storm Could Impact Oklahomans Thursday And Friday
Jeromee Scot, Newson6.com
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oklahomans could see disruptions in cell phone service, satellite television and even brief power outages Thursday as remnants from one of the largest solar storms in years enter the Earth's atmosphere.
Ejections of plasma from the sun, called coronal mass ejections, began entering the atmosphere at 6:00 a.m. Thursday.
Denise Chow, a reporter for the website www.Space.com, said those ejections can trigger geomagnetic storms and cause disruptions in communications worldwide.
"This is the biggest solar storm we've had in about five years," said Denise Chow. "The Sun, this week, has been particularly active. As the coronal mass ejections hit Earth, we're seeing heightened levels of magnetic, radio, and radiation [levels]."
Those heightened levels could cause brief outages in cell phones and satellite signals, Chow said.
Some commercial airlines have also started re-routing flights as a precaution due to the levels of radiation coming from the sun.
The largest impact from the storm hit early Thursday morning, but could last through the weekend.
"Right now the effects will probably linger for at least 24 hours," said Chow. "They could continue into Friday and depending on whether this area of the Sun shoots off more solar flares, it could be into next week."
Solar storms also cause an increased occurrence of aurora borealis, known commonly as northern lights.
Late Thursday into early Friday, there is a small possibility you could see some of the lights in the northern parts of Oklahoma.