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Solar storm may make Northern Lights visible in Milwaukee area

MADISON -- It's not the kind of storm that tears the roof off your house, or floods the street, but the solar storm that hit the earth over the lunch hour Friday still has the potential to cause some problems. The Sun let off a powerful solar flare back on Wednesday. Bill Murtagh, with the Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado, tells us a solar storm from the flare directly hit Earth's atmosphere before noon Friday.

The impact from this could make your GPS go a little haywire, it could damage satellites in orbit, and it some cases it could knock out power. Energy providers in south east Wisconsin tell us they aren't too worried about it actually interrupting service, and say they've dealt with this type of issue before without any problems.

A physics professor at the UW-Madison says most people really won't notice anything from this since the Earth's atmosphere protects us. He says if we're lucky we may see the Northern Lights in the Milwaukee area.

\"You have to look north. We have to get rid of all the clouds, but if you look north you should be able to see this green light dancing on the horizon.\" said Jan Egedal, associate professor at UW.

Murtagh with the Space Weather Center tells us Earth was hit by energy from the Sun the same way last June, and says effects from this will wear off by early Saturday.



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