A geomagnetic storm is expected to hit Earth Thursday night that is strong enough to cause a radio blackout and could affect electrical grids, communication links, and satellite navigation systems, reported msnbc.com.
The sun unleashed an outburst of flares at 7:24 p.m. ET Tuesday which has been its biggest flare in its current activity cycle. The flare was an X5.4 class outburst. X is the most powerful category for solar flares, according to msnbc.com
The flare could also cause the Northern Lights to be visible in Minnesota and Wisconsin around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night, reported the Pioneer Press.
However something more serious could happen. The geometric storm that is coming is predicted to reach G3 level which could trigger alarms on electrical power systems and cause problems for GPS navigation services, reported msnbc.com.
Some airlines have rerouted their flights so they do not fly too close to the poles and risk interference from the storm, according to msnbc.com.
Nevertheless the storm could put on a show for sky-gazers. Skies are expected to be cloudy Wednesday night, and there is a full moon which makes it more difficult to see the Northern Lights, according to the Pioneer Press.
People should also keep an eye out for the lights on Thursday night, said the Pioneer Press.
Experts at the Space Weather Prediction Center said the flare will give a glancing blow rather than a direct hit to Earth, reported msnbc.com