THE SPANISH PLUME that did so much to sodden our…
IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN a year since the Met Office announced that it had added space weather to its forecasting.
Since then the Space Weather Centre in Exeter has been providing forecasts and equally importantly, developing an early warning system aimed at protecting Earth’s critical infrastructure from the impacts of ‘space weather’.
Solar flares and the like – which are sudden releases of energy across the entire electromagnetic spectrum – affect our technology and systems such as satellites, GPS, power grids, high-flying aircraft and radio communications. The science doesn’t yet exist to predict when the Sun will emit a flare and, given they travel at the speed of light, they can reach Earth in 8.5 minutes so cannot be forecast in advance.
So what’s the best way to let the general public in on these new forecasts we asked the Met Office? They told us, “(We) are engaged along with government in a consultation exercise. TV, radio, Apps and social media are all under consideration”.
Hmm. A Tweet lacks gravitas we would have thought, whilst someone on Radio 1 pulling the plug halfway through a One Direction anthem with “We interrupt this programme to bring you news of an approaching…” would be much too alarming. No, our money is on an App, for them as wants to know.
Watch this Space.
Featured image courtesy of NASA