Extreme Geomagnetic Storm Hits Earth, Disruptions Expected Through Weekend

An extreme geomagnetic storm (G5, Kp=9), the most powerful since October 2003, is currently affecting Earth, having commenced at 6:54 PM EDT on May 10th. The storm will continue throughout the weekend due to several Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) detected in transit. This is the first Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch issued by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center since January 2005. At least five CMEs, originating from a massive sunspot cluster (NOAA Region 3664) 17 times the diameter of Earth, are projected to impact from midday Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 12, 2024.

Aurora Forecast. Source: NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
Flights to the US west coast are taking a southerly route due to the geomagnetic storms. Previous flights on this route usually take a transpolar route. Source: @flightradar24

The storm poses potential disruptions to high-frequency communications, GPS, power grids, and satellite operations. Critical infrastructure operators have been alerted to the risk. This event marks one of only three severe geomagnetic storms observed since this solar cycle began in December 2019. If the storm maintains its intensity, auroras could be visible as far south as southern Texas, Florida, and Mexico this evening.