And the list goes on...
These are all stresses that you and many of us encounter on a near daily basis. Indeed, perhaps they've already reached out and placed their icy grip on your family?
And what about these threats of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and even sever thunder storms? Many serious events are on the rise and frequently right in your backyard. Watch the news! Disasters are hitting closer to home more than any of us would like to think.
All of these things have broken way into the increasingly popular realm, and dare I say, trend of "prepper" mentality. This concept of preparedness is nothing new, but with all of these warning signs the seriousness of this principle of being prepared is starting to sweep across the globe like wildfire. We are finally coming to grips with the idea that life may not be so easy as it used to be and we need to step up and do something about it.
Of course the question has to be asked:
What does this have to do with ‘you’ and what does "preparedness" have to do with 'space weather?'
Well, I want to make something that is extremely important entirely crystal clear for you here. This is to help you to move beyond a point where many people have thrown their hands up saying, “I don’t understand!” Even before they’ve even put their toe in the water! Did you have to get a degree in meteorology to watch the Weather ChannelTM or news in order to know if there are thunderstorms, rain or sunshine today? NO.
The same is now also true with solar weather thanks to FlareAware You DO NOT have to be a scientist, or a ‘prepper,’ or even really know all that much about the sun to understand the significance of solar weather or how to prepare for it! It may not be clear at first how space weather works, just like you may not understand how lightning is generated and why tornados form.
Likewise, it can be unclear and confusing as to why the sun has enormous and sometimes terrifying eruptions of electrically charged super heated plasma aimed towards Earth and what potential problems they can cause us here. It is our sole existence and desire to be up front about HOW and WHY this all is important TO YOU so that you will understand how this will affect YOU and / or YOUR family.
Grim as these may be, by envisioning these scenarios you can now imagine more clearly how solar weather can truly affect your life.
Seriously considerer this: You can find yourself in all of these nightmares with a simple eruption from ONE solar storm!
FlareAware can give you hours to days warning before a severe solar storms hits and this time is invaluable when faced with the real threat of public panic. Everyones heard old winter storm stories of incoming blizzards and shelves being cleared within hours of weather stations announcing even a minor foot or two of snow. Imagine your town or city being told that in a few short hours the power hungry populace was going to be left in the dark, possibly for weeks or months...
Even imagine a scenario where the news stations say absolutely nothing. Too afraid to cause fear, panic, riots, and looting. Who would know until it was too late?
You can’t be prepared if you don’t know what’s coming and that is what FlareAware provides. The knowledge to know as soon as the experts do when solar storms may threaten your property, your standard of living, your family and your life before it’s too late.
Continue reading to learn the basics of how space weather works and ways YOU can use FlareAware to prepare your equipment, your family and yourself for solar storms.
To know the bare minimum there are four kinds of solar weather you should be aware of:
Solar Flares: As giant magnetic explosions of light and X-ray radiation these solar events only take eight minutes to reach Earth but cause little damage to Earthly equipment or humans with the exceptions of satellites or astronaut in orbit. Although these Flares have little effect on day to day life, aside from radio propagation and satellite disruption, they can be good indicators if a coronal mass ejections is heading our way and give us an Idea of how big they may be.
Coronal mass ejections or CMEs: These are likely the most important space weather events to be aware of. Essentially, a coronal mass ejection is a superheated plume of magnetically charged plasma that lifts off the sun’s surface and expands out into the solar system. Sometimes these clouds of plasma hit Earth’s magnetosphere and, through the force of the shockwave and magnetic charge, induce a geomagnetic storm.
Coronal Holes: Solar wind plays a large part in space weather around our planet as they can slow and speed up CMEs increasing or decreasing their impact on our planet. Coronal holes are large patches of the Sun’s surface where heat, energy and particles escape more easily from the sun and speed away into space that sweep over our planet as the sun rotates. A coronal hole acts as a jet stream where these solar winds pick up speed and buffet our magnetosphere, sometimes causing geomagnetic storms, or just raise the level of activity enough to cause an increase in heart attack and stroke risk.
Geomagnetic Storms: The most famous effect of these events may be the aurora borealis or northern lights however, GICs or geomagnetic induced currents that can damage the electrical grid, are also well known and much feared effects of this kind of event. To add to this an actual “storm” level of disturbance does not even have to be reached for you to expect a 210% increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Surprisingly disturbance levels just below the minimum threshold for the lowest level of geomagnetic storming will still cause micro fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field and adversely affect our cardiovascular systems.
Lately, solar storms have just missed the Earth, but if they hit, it could have destructive consequences. Fortunately, there's a way to prepare yourself for such an event: FlareAware.
In July 2012 the fastest CME ever observed since the STEREO launch in 2006 blew passed NASA's spacecraft, which measures solar weather activity.
"Between 1,800 to 2,200 miles per second puts it without question as one of the top five CMEs ever measured by any spacecraft," "And if it's at the top of that velocity range, it's probably the fastest." - Alex Young from Goddard.
"We measure magnetic fields in ‘Tesla,’ and this CME was 80 nanoTesla. This magnetic field is substantially larger even than the CMEs that caused large geomagnetic storms near Earth in October 2003. We call those storms the Halloween storms, and scientists still study them to this day." - Antti Pulkkinen from Goddard
"When the CME passes over one of the STEREO spacecraft, the instruments can also measure the direction in which the magnetic field points - a crucial data point since it is the southward pointing magnetic fields in a CME that travel in the opposite direction of Earth's own magnetic fields and thus can cause the most disruption. This CME traveled with an unusually large southward magnetic field of 40 nanoTesla that stayed steady for several hours." - NASA
When compared to the biggest solar event on record, the 110 nanoTesla Carrington event, this CME was 73% it’s strength. To understand the magnitude of what so nearly hit us you must understand the colossal impact a storm with a strength anywhere near the power of the legendary Carrington event could have on our society today.
In 1859 a CME lit the sky all over the world causing the northern lights to be visible even in the Caribbean. Telegraph systems, high tech in those days, failed all over the planet and the operators were electrically shocked by the power being pumped into them by the storm. In some places the equipment caught fire while others were sending and receiving messages even after the batteries were removed.
Though this was an amazing event it's important to know that events with this potential are happening today—the most recent being July 2012—and can have major effects on all of us. It's not going to be 100 years away that something happens to us. It is now that solar events are happening, and the next big one that could hit us could be just around the corner.
According to The Department of Homeland Security here are some risk assessments, what kind of damage we have to look forward to and how they are planning to prepare for such an event:
“Extra-high-voltage (EHV) transformers and transmission lines—built to increase the reliability of electric power systems in cases of terrestrial hazards—are particularly vulnerable to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) caused by the disturbance of Earth‘s geomagnetic field. The simultaneous loss of these assets could cause a voltage collapse and lead to cascading power outages.”
“Geomagnetic storms can be categorized as a global shock for several reasons: the effects of an extreme storm will be felt on multiple continents; the resulting damage to electric power transmission will require international cooperation to address; and the economic costs of a lengthy power outage will affect economies around the world.”
“The literature on geomagnetic storm risk assessments indicates that the state of the art for assessing the security risk from this type of event is still inchoate. There are examples of analyses that describe threat, vulnerability, and consequence, but they are not integrated, primarily because of the weakness in the threat analysis. The lack of valid risk assessments has limited risk mitigation efforts in many critical infrastructure sectors, as it is difficult to demonstrate the utility of investing in either hardening or operational mitigation efforts, especially if these investments reduce time and money spent in preparing for more common risks.”
With the FlareAware Plus Plan you can be notified, on your phone via text message or voice, of severe solar weather that is likely to have serious and widespread impact. It notifies you as soon as the information is made available to the scientific community, and best, it's in layman's terms so you don't have to sift through tons of garbled scientific information to get the information you need.
This means you could know when a CME is headed for Earth hours to days in advance and be ready with extra medications, fuel, water and other necessities before stores become crowded, shut down or run out and before streets are jammed and the public is in a panic. not to mention time to unplug your expensive or important electronics that can be damaged by brown outs, blackouts or power surges.
This is the “set it and forget it” method which will suit your needs if you only have concerns over the power grid or even just an interest in seeing the aurora in areas where it’s not commonly seen. You won't consume a lot of texts or minutes, or have to explore scientific terms very deeply. And you'll still have access to the members area of our website, our online library, and the FREE weekly forecast that's emailed to all members.
The Premium Plan alerts you severe storms as well as to a larger variety of solar weather events that may or may not affect you—this upgraded plan is for those subscribers who have higher risk factors such as:
The members area of our website offers suggestions on how to prepare if a CME hits the Earth. In the free area of the website, we offer NOAA scientific information simplified, such as explanations of solar weather events, history of past solar events, and destruction caused by the weather in outer space.
As a subscriber, you'll also get a FREE weekly forecast emailed to you predicting the solar weather forecast for the week.
While solar flares are likely to interrupt radio signals, the real threat comes from Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). With FlareAware, you'll be alerted one to two days before a CME is expected to hit. This will give you time to fill up your gas tank, fill prescriptions, and unplug important electronics. You can do all this before everyone else even gets the news that a CME is coming.
With the Plus Plan, you can “set it and forget it.” You get only the severe weather alerts including:
With the Premium Plan, you get more in-depth information--all solar alerts including:
Every Subscriber Gets access to the Knowledge Base and Community:
With FlareAware you have the option of receiving a voice or text message over your cell phone that alerts you to potential dangers, as soon as experts relay the information, which directs you to your Solar Dashboard where you can learn more about the events and find updates on the event’s progress.
You don't have to wait for the news and then enter crowded grocery stores, visit the bank, or try to fill your prescriptions after the whole world begins to panic. If you don’t find out until everyone else knows it's too late.