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‘Extreme’ G5 Geomagnetic Storm Unleashes Northern Lights Across the United States

  |   By Lou Dobbs Staff

The United States witnessed a rare celestial spectacle on Friday night as an extreme G5 geomagnetic storm painted the night sky with the vibrant colors of the Northern Lights.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had forecasted a severe G4 geomagnetic storm, which later escalated, marking the most intense solar event to hit the Earth in nearly two decades.

NOAA decided to issue a storm watch after identifying multiple earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) earlier in the week. Forecasters anticipated the CMEs to arrive by midday Friday, May 10, 2024, with activity potentially lasting until Sunday, May 12, in what they characterized as an “unusual event.”

A coronal mass ejection, as explained by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), is a significant release of plasma and magnetized particles from the Sun’s corona. These ejections can expand dramatically as they travel towards Earth and are known to trigger geomagnetic storms upon their collision with Earth’s magnetic field.

Significant impacts from the storm include disruptions to navigation systems, radio communications, and potential widespread internet outages.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center later confirmed that an “extreme” G5 geomagnetic storm reached Earth on Friday, following the earlier warning.

his level of storm, the highest on the geomagnetic scale, can lead to “widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems,” the agency warned. “Some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage,” and disruptions to radio and satellite navigation are likely.

The last storm of this magnitude, which occurred in October 2003, resulted in power outages in Sweden and damaged transformers in South Africa.

Credit: NOAA

The geomagnetic storm brought with it a stunning visual display: the auroras, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, were seen much farther south than usual. Reports confirmed sightings as far south as Texas.

Social media platforms, particularly X, were flooded with awe-inspiring images of the auroras, as people from various parts of the country shared their experiences of the natural phenomenon.


More northern Lights photos from St. Louis. This never happens! Hat tip my niece pic.twitter.com/tIGP4P4XVi

— The Gateway Pundit (@gatewaypundit) May 11, 2024

Alabama. I told my son this was an event I couldn’t even imagine realizing pic.twitter.com/tHYYtdlI0W

— Underground (@shannon4t76) May 11, 2024

Finally got to see the northern lights with my own eyes!

Stunning aurora borealis in NE Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/xo2Yqrme0u

— Marc (@gopher_marc) May 11, 2024

Cool Ridge, WV pic.twitter.com/Bj5SLz2nzL

— Josh Vance (@DisturbedOne92) May 11, 2024

Here in Georgia pic.twitter.com/ZNttkAgZPp

— Sassypiehole (@sassypiehole) May 11, 2024

Lake Wylie, SC pic.twitter.com/4yNtIvcZCw

— (@RenegadeNole85) May 11, 2024

That’s from my front yard in northern Crawford county Arkansas pic.twitter.com/Gg7FRP4eHY

— USMC Lady Vet (@Arkypatriot) May 11, 2024

More shots of Northern Lights from South Louisiana. Abita Springs : Heather LaBauve pic.twitter.com/eD4zlXl1F2

— Payton Malone WWL-TV (@paytonmalonewx) May 11, 2024

Northern lights spotted in Lafayette, Colorado pic.twitter.com/n53rLkG5dI

— Michael Beckel (@mjbeckel) May 11, 2024

The iPhone’s night mode exposure caught the Northern Lights in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Pretty rad. pic.twitter.com/31oELGz1Gy

— John Frerichs (@JayFrayAllDay) May 11, 2024

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN NORTH TEXAS: Thanks to the solar storm hitting Earth, some North Texas viewers are starting to see the aurora borealis! Here are some of the dazzling images. Show us your pictures! Make sure to include your location. https://t.co/kP1Lvcig1y pic.twitter.com/OydOJxL1Ay

— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) May 11, 2024

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