‘Increased chance of seeing Northern Lights’ amid solar storm

THERE could be disruption to power grids, satellite navigation and plane routes today - but also an increased chance of witnessing the Northern Lights - after an explosion on the surface of the sun led to an enormous magnetic storm.

THERE could be disruption to power grids, satellite navigation and plane routes today - but also an increased chance of witnessing the Northern Lights - after an explosion on the surface of the sun led to an enormous magnetic storm.

The eruption, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), has led to a “massive amount of solar particles heading towards Earth”, which are due to pass the planet this morning, a spokesman for the Met Office said.

But he added that the phenomenon was likely to go unnoticed by most.

He said: “Part of our role is to advise the Government and relevant industries about the potential impact of events such as this, so we have advised the aviation and energy industries.

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“Airlines may re-route planes from near the polar regions as that is where the storm would be most intense and the National Grid could also be affected, but they will take action to limit any risk.

“It should arrive some time this morning and last through the day. In terms of what that means from the public’s point of view, there’s an increased chance of aurora borealis or Northern Lights being seen if conditions are right and the skies are clear.”

Forecasters at MeteoGroup said most of the UK would be cloudy with some sunny spells this morning.

“There is some low broken cloud at the moment but there could be some clear spells in parts this morning with hazy sunsine,” MeteoGroup said.