Meteorologist Spencer: Geometric Watch means electronic disruptions

Credit: NOAA/YouTube

(MSC News)--Although showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast locally for Mother's Day Sunday, it's not the usual type of conditions that have led to a weekend-long, weather-related watch, not just for the local area but the entire world.

Known as a Geometric Storm Watch, it was, for the first time in nearly 20-years, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, effective now through Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, which calls it "an unusual and potentially historic event," the issuance is due to explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the corona of the sun, which can cause geomagnetic storms when directed at the Earth. 93.7 FM Chief Meteorologist Bill Spencer says that while the conditions pose no bodily threat, they are expected to disrupt communications and other electronic devices, including cell phones, internet, and, in a worst case scenario, the United States power grid.

Along with those potential effects, the National Weather Service says another possible, positive outcome of the geomagnetic storms is the increased chance of viewing the northern lights, in the U.S., as far south as Alabama and Northern California, sky conditions permitting.

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