Solar storm prediction! X-class solar flares likely today, may spark blackouts

According to space weather physicist Tamitha Skov, today, August 17, there is a possibility of X-class solar flare eruption and radio blackouts. Check the detailed solar storm prediction.

| Updated on: Aug 17 2023, 12:58 IST
Solar storm
Know today’s solar storm forecast. (
Solar storm
Know today’s solar storm forecast. (

A new sunspot has entered the Earth-facing side of the Sun, and it appears to be crackling with solar flares. Luckily, so far it has not exploded, but it cannot be said just how long it will stay the same way. And perhaps that's why today's solar storm forecast has included a chance of an X-class solar flare eruption as well as the possibility of radio blackouts due to solar winds passing. It remains to be seen whether any eruptions today can release a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth and cause a further solar storm threat.

Space weather physicist Tamitha Skov posted on her X account to give a detailed solar storm prediction. According to the forecast, there is a 35 percent chance for an M-class solar flare eruption (R1-R2) and a 5 percent chance for an X-class solar flare (R3). Additionally, there is a 10 percent risk of a radiation storm hitting the Earth as well.

Solar flare scare and radio blackouts

Earlier today, SpaceWeatherLive, an X account dedicated to reporting live space weather tweeted, “03:15 UTC - Type II Radio Emission. Begin Time: 17/08/2023 02:29 UTC. Estimated Velocity: 253km/sec”.

Radio emissions are electromagnetic waves that are thermally charged and are released from the Sun at the time of solar activity. Type II is a moderate emission, but it can still spark shortwave radio blackouts that can affect ham radio operators, drone pilots, mariners, and those who rely on shortwave frequencies.

Luckily, today it does not appear that the Earth is being targeted by a CME that can spark a solar storm event. But if these predicted solar flares go off, things can change quickly.

How NOAA's DSCOVR satellite monitors the Sun

NOAA monitors solar storms and Sun's behavior using its DSCOVR satellite which became operational in 2016. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared. The different measurements are done on temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation, and frequency of the solar particles.

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First Published Date: 17 Aug, 12:49 IST
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