A new study suggests that an unfortunate confluence of space weather and Earth weather events in early September 2017, may have made a bad situation worse in the wake of devastation left by a line of hurricanes in the Caribbean.
As three tropical storms, including the category 5 hurricane Irma, were making their way across a number of Caribbean islands, a storm was also brewing on the Sun some 150 million kilometers away.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center says that several powerful X class solar flares exploded from the surface of the Sun on September 6th and 10th 2017.
Scientists rate a solar flare’s intensity by five classes, with A-Class being the least powerful and X-Class being the most powerful and intense.
Here on Earth, the three blasts of high-energy solar particles caused periods of radio communication blackouts, September 4th through the 13th, as efforts to mitigate effects of the hurricanes were underway.
The study outlining the scientist’s research has been published in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) journal, “Space Weather”.