Solar Flares: Tuesday Solar Storm Highlights Power Grid Vulnerabilities

Tara Dodrill

Solar flares hit Earth on Tuesday, but few noticed. The solar storm or sunspot activity have made the Northern Lights effect possible, as previously noted by the Inquisitr. While many around the nation are debating the Blood Moon prophecy and the best vantage points to watch the expected eclipse on Friday, others are more keenly focused on the vulnerability of the power grid.

NOAH recorded the geomagnetic shock of the Tuesday solar storm at a level 4 - the storm scale tops out at level 5. The solar flares stemming from the active and massive sunspots hit earth about 15 hours earlier than expected. Scientists have only been able to view, track, and understand solar flares for about the last 20 years. America barely dodged a direct hit by a solar flare in 2012. All modern amenities would have ceased to exist for at least weeks or months due to the solar flare, according to University of Colorado Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics Director Dr. Daniel Baker.

The potential for an Earth-directed X-class solar flare to take down America's overly-taxed power grid is significant. The power grid likely would not survive a direct hit by a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The United States power grid fails more than the electrical system in any other developed nation on the globe.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the American Society of Civil Engineers handed down a "D+" grade to the power grid in the United States during an infrastructure review in 2013, the most recent statistics available. Security experts stated that the power grid is unprepared to withstand a massive Earth-directed solar storm, X-Class solar flare, or a catastrophic EMP attack by a rogue nation.

"America relies on an aging electrical grid and pipeline distribution systems, some of which originated in the 1880s. Investment in power transmission has increased since 2005, but ongoing permitting issues, weather events, and limited maintenance have contributed to an increasing number of failures and power interruptions. While demand for electricity has remained level, the availability of energy in the form of electricity, natural gas, and oil will become a greater challenge after 2020 as the population increases."

Are you concerned that an X-Class solar flare or powerful solar storm could take down the power grid and end life as we know it in America, or are you merely looking forward to watching the Northern Lights and waiting for the Blood Moon fears to subside?

[Images via: NASA and Twitter]