By Professor Udo Raut
Cyanide will probably be the best-known substance to emerge from the storm.
In 2001, zinc had the honor of being the second-most-used substance that came out of the massive solar storm. Every year, 3% of the world’s population is exposed to some kind of electromagnetic radiation from these storms.
If you walk into a room or open a magazine in the middle of a storm, you will experience this radiation, which will cause your eyes to water, your skin to get irritated, and your eyes to burn.
Since 1991, there have been 43 moderate geomagnetic storms on the sun. Of those, 36 have resulted in an event resulting in ionization of the northern aurora. While the effects are entirely different, the coincidence of events tends to show a strong relationship between storms and auroras.
Another relationship exists between a geomagnetic storm and magnetotail, or aurora borealis. The aurora has been a theme of numerous dreams, and the colors appear in both north and south polar regions, suggesting that there is a correlation between the two.
In the most intense solar flares, solar winds are accelerated and the particles are glomerulated back toward the Earth.
The best times to catch an aurora are on the nights of October 13 through October 14. However, the weather will vary around the world, and from coast to coast. Places in the Northern Hemisphere that experience the best auroras should have clear skies during this period, but northern areas can see rain or fog.
When the atmosphere is very thin, whether from cloud cover or fog, it can cover the bottom of the sun, and as a result you will have no aurora, just an amber sky.
A full nine days before the storm, and a full nine days after the storm, auroras still may not be seen, but the lighter northern lights will be visible in the upper atmosphere.
The storm should set the stage for a very active October. Clouds and rain are likely to overtake the northern parts of the country early in the month, but should clear by the second week of October.
In the second week of October, you may see plenty of stormy weather, and the southern parts of the U.S. are expected to have cloudy days. But the second week of October is predicted to bring a strong pressure gradient in the north, which may lead to dangerous thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.
The more typical pattern, however, looks like the southern parts of the U.S. may enjoy clear nights and clear days through most of October.
The big question mark is the next big solar storm in May to August of next year. According to the European Space Agency, we are already running higher than normal cycle; the next big one starts in May of 2020. But for now, let’s just watch the electrical storm and expect plenty of fun auroras for northern states.
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The map below shows the prospects for auroras through the next couple of years: