Aside from some minor interference in radio communications near the North Pole, where some flights had to be rerouted due to radio blackouts, and some trouble with certain satellite communications the Earth and Saskatchewan have appeared to escape the solar storm largely unscathed.
Solar storms are considered dangerous because during one the Sun emits many high energy particles in the form of plasma that leave the Sun at very high speeds. If the storm lines up correctly with Earth, as it did in this case, than there is a chance of the Earth coming under bombardment. These particles can do a number on the Earth’s electromagnetic field and can cause electronic goods to malfunction, disrupt radio communications, or cause fluctuations in the electrical grid.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States is reporting that the peak of the storm arrived on Earth Tuesday January 24. However, in Regina, Shawn Silzer of SaskPower said of the power grid that there were “no problems at all but we’re certainly keeping a close eye on the system and … making sure the system continues to run optimally”.
It was a very similar story at SaskTel. The landline and wireless telecommunications provider noted no significant disturbances on either their wireless or landline networks.
Access Communications, the largest cable provider in the province, also reported no issues with the cable system.
One noticeable effect for those able to see the night sky in northern latitudes was a spectacular showing of the Aurora Borealis or as they are more commonly known, the Northern Lights. Unfortunately the amazing display of the Northern Lights was destined to be short lived as solar radiation storm levels had fallen to S2 by Wednesday January 25 and were expected to return to normal very soon after.