UPDATE: X-Class Flare Bounces Off North Pole

by | Feb 17, 2011 | Headline News | 74 comments

UPDATE POSTED FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011:

If you woke up this morning wondering why your GPS and shortwave radio communications equipment was still working after the alert posted by the NOAA, NASA and other space weather agencies, it’s likely because the X2 Solar Flare that was scheduled to cause geomagnetic storms didn’t live up to expectations:

A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth’s northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said.

But the Earth appears to have escaped a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern latitudes, possibly reaching down into Norway and Canada.

“There can be sporadic outages based on particular small-scale events,” said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center.

He told AFP the official forecast is “for generally quiet conditions today, perhaps some minor storming tomorrow, but nothing extraordinary.”

Anticipating the worst, the US National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Service warned it was “the calm before the storm.”

But Persnell said the spiraling beam of solar particles from Tuesday’s eruption was passing behind the Earth without making a direct hit.

“In this case, it appears it will curve around and not hit us,” he said.

He said satellite data “shows that the CME is quieting down and so there is not a whole lot left to it. So it’s moved well behind us by now,” he said.

But he said solar activity is on the upswing, and more CMEs will follow.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011:

solarflare_02152011

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center is advising that a powerful X-class solar flare is on its way to Earth. Charged plasma particles are expected to reach earth today.

China has already begun experiencing effects from a coronal mass ejection that preceded the X-class flare by a couple days:

The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare had jammed shortwave radio communications in southern China.

It said the flare caused “sudden ionospheric disturbances” in the atmosphere above China, and warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The National Weather Service in Anchorage, AK, in a public information statement, advises that the approaching storm could affect satellite, radio and other electronics equipment:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY OF A SIGNIFICANT GEOMAGNETIC STORM OCCURRING FROM FEBRUARY 17 2011 THROUGH FEBRUARY 20 2011.

G2 (MODERATE) STORM LEVELS ARE EXPECTED, WITH A CHANCE OF G3 (STRONG) CONDITIONS AT TIMES. DEFINITIONS FOR THESE STORM LEVELS MAY BE FOUND AT HTTP://WWW.SWPC.NOAA.GOV/NOAASCALES/. GEOMAGNETIC STORMS USUALLY LAST 24-48 HOURS, BUT SOME MAY LAST FOR MANY DAYS. GROUND-TO-AIR, SHIP-TO-SHORE, SHORTWAVE BROADCAST, AND AMATEUR RADIO ARE VULNERABLE TO DISRUPTION DURING GEOMAGNETIC STORMS. NAVIGATION SYSTEMS LIKE GPS CAN ALSO BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED. MARINERS SHOULD USE CAUTION WHEN NAVIGATING DURING THIS TIME PERIOD AND NOT RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON GPS.

According to a joint report released by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force, continued activity can be expected for the next 72 hours:

Solar Activity Forecast:  Solar activity is expected to be moderate with a chance for an isolated major flare for the next three days (17-19 February). Region 1158 is expected to produce more M-class flares and still has the potential for producing an M5 or greater x-ray event.

Geophysical Activity Forecast:  The geomagnetic field is expected to be predominately quiet on day one (February 17).  An increase to unsettled to active conditions, with a chance for minor storm periods is expected late on day one into day two (18 February). The increased activity is forecast due to the expected arrival of the CME associated with the X2 flare that occurred on 15/0156Z.  Day three (19 February)  is expected to be quiet to active as the disturbance subsides.

The NWS refers to this particular wave of solar activity as moderate, though significant, so the general population need not be alarmed that it is a TEOTWAWKI-type event.

However, the sun is unpredictable, and the NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center warns that activity may continue to heat up in the region where the current flare headed for earth originated:

Region 1158 is expected to produce more M-class flares and still has the potential for producing an M5 or greater x-ray event.

Solar flares, like earthquakes and hurricanes, have classifications that identify their strength and potential for damage:

Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux (in watts per square meter, W/m2) of 100 to 800 picometer X-rays near Earth, as measured on the GOES spacecraft. Each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one, with X class flares having a peak flux of order 10−4 W/m2. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9, so an X2 flare is twice as powerful as an X1 flare, and is four times more powerful than an M8 flare. The more powerful M and X class flares are often associated with a variety of effects on the near-Earth space environment. Although the GOES classification is commonly used to indicate the size of a flare, it is only one measure.

This extended logarithmic classification is necessary because the total energies of flares range over many orders of magnitude, following a uniform distribution with flare frequency roughly proportional to the inverse of the total energy. Stellar flares and earthquakes show similar power-law distributions.

While the X2 flare currently en route to Earth should not cause any significant damage, other than communications jamming and delays, it has been long argued that a power solar flare, like those that hit earth in 1921 and 1859, or more recently the 1989 geo-magentic storm that affected millions in Quebec, Canada, could take out the globe’s modern day power and communications grids, sending the majority of the developed world back into the stone age:

America is woefully under prepared for a looming natural disaster with the potential to be much worse than Hurricane Katrina, warns disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph. Scientists believe a solar storm of a size not seen since 1921 is likely to hit the earth after solar activity picks up in 2012, sending out an electromagnetic pulse that could fry transformers and put electricity grids offline for months, Joseph writes in the New York Times.

Source: Newser

As we approach an intense period of solar activity in late 2012 and into 2013, scientists at the US Space Weather Prediction Center and other agencies are keeping a close eye on the sun. The SHTF plan in place for this scenario is that if a large enough flare or approaching storm is identified, emergency response teams will shut down portions of the US power grid and other necessary electronic nodes to prevent a potentially irreparable down-grid resulting from short circuiting and blown transformers.

This is good news for the general well being of the planet, and the fact that the NOAA is able to get the message out about the current X2 flare suggests that modern technology, which was not available in 1989, may actually be able to prevent a catastrophic situation resulting from sun activity.

Hat tip Johnny V

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    74 Comments

    1. wheedle

      I hope the plan to shut the grid down gets some major coverage by the MSM, so the population is not caught off guard and begin to panic. When the lights come back on the mad rush to use credit cards and debit cards to buy things that these people need/want may crash the system. The criminal element in our society may also be watching for the opportunity to take advantage of the situation.
      Thanks for the “Heads Up”.

    2. man up

      There’s always a reason to be prepared! Life is not as we knew it.

    3. Gods Creation

      Wheedle, the MSM will likely say nothing and bring Obama out again to tell everyone how great things are.  That is their sole purpose for existing.

      They are so stupid their coverage will not start till AFTER the grid goes down.  At least then nobody would have to hear their crap.

    4. VRF

      I had this up on the previous thread, wonder how it will play out here..China sounds like they got it first

    5. VRF

      When i got up this morning i was reading about it..didnt get to post it til 9:18 this morning.
      Anyone know what if any major problems transpired yet over in China?

    6. wheedle

      Gods Creation,,, I agree that the MSM is incompetent. But I also believe the PTB don’t want things to unravel until “they” are ready to unravel it. This country is so close to chaos that any trigger, or combination of triggers, will set things in motion for another downturn. Of course there is the argument that the U.S. government has literally dug its own hole, and influences outside the U.S. have played a role in our society becoming so fragile right now. All designed to move the world to a global government, with the U.S. government assuming they would always be in control. But anyone who has played King Of The Hill knows that there are to many competitors to stay on top forever. The strongest wins.

    7. Rocket Man

      My nose is pressed against the space station window now with my tin foil hat on.   Yea, were still here!

    8. wheedle

      VRF,,,, I read this on urbansurvival.com around 2:00pm. Wasn’t surprised to see Mac had posted the story when I came back to shtfplan. MSM reports when/what it’s told to report. I plan on watching for more reports on line to see if any “spin” occurs. I own a shortwave radio but don’t understand Chinese. However I’m not picking up any Asian transmissions right now, but Mac’s post does say shortwave transmissions are currently disrupted in that area.

    9. VRF

      Wheedle
      Thanks man
      Yeah I saw a blip of it early with my morning coffee..at like 6 am EST.didnt get a chance to come on here til like 9 am..
      threw up what i thought on the previous thread, but it didnt get picked up on much from anyone

      Maybe no one knew what a CME was?

    10. VRF

      this is all i had to post at that time
      VRF
      February 17th, 2011 at 9:18 am
      Off toppic..sorry
      anyone hear of the CME thathas disrupted Chinas radios, and possible GPS and other electronics?
      Huge Solar flare..

    11. Rocket Man

      I just seen a solar flare and my auto B-1 blinder ( gold visor) came down hard and fast.  Time to turn around and press my cheeks against the tiny window for a solar tan.

      Major Tom

    12. PO'dpatriot

      Comments…..Hey wheedle, if you hear that the SHT(great wall) lets us know. Thanks!

    13. Bangkokslim

      Remote Viewer Major Ed Dames,  has predicted a solar “Kill Shot” for quite a few years now.  Maybe he was correct….

    14. johnf

      Comments…..Hopefully someone will post something on here if things happen, can’t seem to find anything on the msm.

    15. DC

      How badly do you want your GPS back up and running again to find your next tan with Obama? HA HA!

    16. stan

      we don’t have to worry about the economy or debt or dollar collapse.  A solar flare is gonna strike us down!!!

    17. stan

      A solar flare is gonna strike us down!

    18. Mona

      Comments…..Now aren’t you glad you did some prepping.  Had a foot of snow fall over night and am sitting here with hot apple cider and my internet.

      If the electricity goes it goes.  I’ll play strip poker with hubby.

    19. Bill

      China must be taller than we are if they got it first.  Lucky bastards……..

    20. Jeff

      This would be great cover (excuse) for the gov to do just about anything. A “black swan” as it were….Never let a crisis go wasted….This way they have someone(something) else to blame for all our problems…..I can see it now….”Solar Flare crashes Comex”. Dissolves silver…

    21. lostinmissouri

      Crap!  There is a new Simpsons show Sunday nite.   Stupid Flanders solar [email protected]#%^&!

    22. Durango Kidd

      With luck it it will silence all of the microphones of lame stream media.

    23. RebelYell

      Amen Durango Kidd… I wish no one harm to humans, but a fried radar dish or two at MSNBC would be a thrill down my leg.

      This one may be mild or hot, but we are entering a few years of intense activity like this one – watch and take notes.  I live in hurricane country.  We prep for 5 – 15 days of  off-grid lifestyle.  Looks like we are now all in hurricane country thanks to our life giving closest star!  Lots of prayers to you and yours!

    24. VRF

      Hey maybe we will all get lucky and it will shut down DC ..like forever,
      and while they are scrambling around we can peacefully take back over and start back up where it is really We The People running the show ..
      hey ! a man cann have a deam cant he?

    25. beammeupscotty

      Arghh, last night I had a dream of desperately preparing for something momentous and scary, and today I wake up to this headline. Now I can’t seem to believe that dream was for nothing.

    26. willie wonka

      you can sign up for solar activity email alerts at spaceweather.com. i knew this one  was
      coming an hour or so after the eruption

    27. willie wonka

      forgot to mention, at around 3:25 est today we had multiple power surges in my area here in michigan (lights/power flickering) and I immediatly wondered if it was the flare?

    28. REB

      Hmmm…read about this last night quite late, it was a mostly cloudy day as usual with very dim sunshine………I noticed also that we got quite a bit above freezing  today(50F) after not getting anywhere near there for a month and a half,(well below zero a couple nights ago).
      Also noticed that my “photo gray” lenses were much darker than usual and stayed that way while I was outside till the sun dropped over the mountain…….wonder if it was connected?

    29. REB

      VRF……thats a good dream man,Yes,we can dream,till the dream becomes reality!  🙂

    30. SmokinOkie

      RebelYell- your comment about a fried radar dish at MSNBC just cracked me up! Thanks.

    31. Guest

      Must be because of global warming!!:-)))

    32. VRF

      I read this morning, that it missed us..so, was it all hype?

    33. Misfortune

      It’s good to dream sometimes but the reality is we live in a nightmare right now for the most part. We will continue living in this false reality of this current system as we continue to work and suffer harder for less. Non of these solar storms, CME’s, earthquakes, etc. will really effect the U.S. It seems as if the U.S. is impervious to everything from natural disasters to financial/economic collapse. All these doom and gloom, 2012 cataclysmic prophecies are all just nonsense like Y2K.

    34. Louise Worden

      Comments…..”And there shall be signs in the sun , and in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea roaring; mes’s hearts failing them from fear and expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.  So when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”  Jesus       Luke 21:25-28, 31, 33
      Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see him, even they who pierced Him.  And all of the tribes of the earth shall because of him.  Even So, Amen.  Rev.1:7

    35. Bluebore

      Ill be breaking out the hot dogs and wooden sticks to cook them on .  That is if were not destitute and broke beyond collecting cardboard and aluninum cans on the streets.

      Like typical government,It only reacts when the crisis occurs and then they look for solution .. Wonder why Europe has rose thier Bonds to 50 years and America is doing 100 year Bonds ?   

    36. stilo

      Comments…..Yes, right… the US is impervious to everything.

      I think you’ve just been incredibly blessed to have the dates of your life fall between the start and end of the biggest BUBBLE in human history.

    37. Kim

      What I want to know is if this is just a precurser to the big one that is supposed to hit us on December 21, 2012, dropping the west coast into the ocean?

      Good thing I have been storing food and water and making plans to get the heck out of California.

    38. Durango Kidd

      Misfortune: I think this is different. First, whether you are a “believer”or not, the events around the world do suggest that we are in the “Latter Days”.

      Second not one, but at least three separate “witnesses” point to that date in time and space: The Great Pyramid, the Mayan Calendar, and the I Ching which was deciphered by Terry McKenna to disclose an algorithym to show a calendar that points precisely to that date and time.

      Three witnesses from ancient civilizations of which we are only now beginning to reach their technical prowess and reach their same mathematical conclusions.

      2012 is different.

    39. Jonny V

      I’m dreaming of a nice steel framed house that would not only be stronger, straighter, and cheaper, than wood, it would also function as a huge Faraday cage to protect me from the solar flares  🙂

    40. Ronnie A

      We shouldn’t be using this major Solar Event of 2012 to prepare ourselves for disasterous circumstances such as no electricity, water, food shortages, etc. Wheedle softly touched base on this fact: Our society, Our Country, is becoming so VERY fragile that we are on the verge of a colapse which will have such devastating effects that it will make the Great Depression look like a “minor inconvenience.”  When the US dollar loses its roll as the world monetary standard, we will see inflation like we have never dreamed could happen. The value of the Dollar will sink like a rock! Interest rates will go through the roof! If you can buy gas, it will be upwards of $12.00 per gallon. That will affect the prices of virtually every product needed for basic survival. Many businesses will stop accepting  the dollar because it will be so unstable. Right now, there are banks in Mexico are refusing deposits in US Dollars because they anticipate its colapse. We all should be getting prepared Now! This “Rosey” picture Obama is painting is covering a huge pit of  debt, so big, the rest of the world can no longer trust us. The bubble in the stock market can’t survive on printed money from a Nation which produces no equitable goods to trade with those Nations we have built up and now owe growing Trillions of dollars to which we can never repay! If Obama would have worried about our infrastructure and putting people to work first, then we might have had a fighting chance. Instead, he had to try and make his mark as a President by creating this MASSIVE wellfare program we know as Obamacare with Trillions of dollars that should have been creating jobs. I believe he has a personal agenda to intentionally Bankrupt the US! He won’t even honor The Flag of the United States. He Has the arogance of a dictator! He has done everything possible to circumvent the US Constitution and force His will upon the Citizens of the United States! His gift of speach has so many of his Democratic Brothers following him like “Sheep over a cliff.” They seem to no longer have any will of their own. Yes, you better get prepared!

    41. Jonny V

      Hey Ronnie A!  Are you just catching on now?  The skid into dictatorship and a quasi-police state started with the Nixon administration, not the Obama administration.  What you are seeing now is the closing parts of Act II (major obstacles coming into focus) of a III act play.  This has been building for decades, and all your favorite politicians of whatever stripe, have been part and parcel of it.

      What comes next is the Showdown.  The little guy, Marshall Will Kane (you and me and the others on this board and elsewhere) are inside the town church, trying like hell to get the villagers to help us.  Outside, Frank Miller and his gang (bankers, corporate types, and republicans and democrats) are walking up the street looking for a shoot-out with us.

      We’re gonna end up on the street alone against them.  The best you can hope for is that you’ve got an “Amy” on your side.

    42. stilo

      Comments…..a few of you might be interested in this. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, a Jewish believer in Messiah Jesus and a bible scholar (www.ariel.org) says that the bible points to the first of 5 blackouts of the sun in the period of the book of Revelation, or the Tribulation, as happening before the Tribulation begins–during the church age. So we could very well soon be seeing that happen– er, rather, not seeing.

      During Jesus’ crucifixion, the entire earth went black for three hours, when he suffered by separation from the Father and for your sins…

      Arnold’s website is worth a good browsing through and you can listen for free at “Come and See”.

    43. BJ

      @JOHNNY V,
      An Amy??? is this a book or movie?

      Why is no one talking about the crap bo is doing with Candas harper?? I don’t understand the lack of talk and outrage about it?

    44. Plane Guy

      JonnyV, since I’ve got a roof full of solar panels I’ve tried to read up as much as possible into the effects of CME’s to protect my investment…

      A point I’d like to make here is a solar flare/CME is not only an electro-magnetic entity, but can also contain positively charged particles with actual mass. In other words, a faraday cage won’t do you much good, as the little highly energetic “BB’s” will go right through it.

      It takes mass to stop mass- a couple of feet of dirt, or 6″ of concrete,  or 4′ of water, etc…

      Louise- Just think- people have been reading those same prophetic words for near 2000 years now and wondering if they will see the things written about in thier lifetimes, and WE are the “lucky” ones to get to watch it happen!

      I’m looking for another false flag REAL soon…

    45. Mike Litoris

      So, should people DOUBLE their protection levels by wearing thicker tin-foil hats?  What’s the official recommendation?

    46. SmokinOkie

      Okay, so the CME or solar flare or whatever didn’t live up to expectations. And the warnings from  NASA and NOAA were way off target. Just like the danged government- can’t even get it right when it’s supposed to be BAD news. I’m beginning to have serious doubts about the genuine concern for us little people as expressed by our fearless leaders and their beaurocracies. Next thing you know they’ll be tellin’ us there really aint no money in that big ol’ soc sec lock box. Heck, I’ll bet they even start lying to us during the election campaigns some day.
      On a somewhat related topic: don’t you think Coronal Mass Ejection would be an awesome name for a rock band? Or a porno movie?

    47. SmokinOkie

      Not that I would ever watch a porno movie- heck I don’t even have a pornograph to play it on. And my Daddy warned me about listening to rock music back in the ’60s. He said it would rot by brain and I’ve been scared of it ever since.

    48. ObserverOnTheHill

      Perhaps HAARP was used in deflecting the flare ? I noticed that it “bounced” off  the North pole area. HMMMM, wonder how that happened.

    49. overtheedge

      Let the HAARP thing go. I live less than 100 air miles away and they aren’t a problem. The book is nonsense. It was written for a very specific audience: environmental conspiracy theorists. I have personally seen every science/technology document the author use. His background? School administration and his family is in politics.

      Once again, the MSM ran this one up to probable catastrophic levels. Those of us with a scientific background saw it as an opportunity to play ham radio on 6 meters. What a bust! Not even a good auroral display. Well, the CME was a bit off the earth-sun plane. Come solar-max come.

    50. BJ

      Smokinokie,
      you crack me up  🙂

    51. J. Rober

      I don’t know about all you guys, but if the grid goes down, I’m simply going to go outside and start chanting “Yes we can (bring the lights back on)” and that should fix everything. As an alternative, I may just shout “Yes, we have no bananas,” which will also be as relevant as “Yes we can.”

      I then expect Obama’s people to be then shortly bringing their daily free chicken to my door as usual.

    52. Clem

      You people are making me bust a gut!!! And where is the mighty mushroom in this discussion? I have a honest question though… The write up claims:

      “This extended logarithmic classification is necessary because the total energies of flares range over many orders of magnitude, following a uniform distribution with flare frequency roughly proportional to the inverse of the total energy. Stellar flares and earthquakes show similar power-law distributions.”

      Ok, as I understand this,  the larger magnitude events are separated by more time. Is this correct? And another question:
      How does this cause transformers to overload? (Blow) Is it due to harmonic distortions on the power lines that distribute the loads? Please let me know and mushroom…you stay out of this!

    53. Jonny V

      I don’t see what the problem here is.  I WANT our power grid to go down!  Why the hell do you guys think I have all these guns, anyway?

    54. BJ

      Anyone have some helpful tips on what to do if your without power for a extended period of tim….no generator here  🙁

      Is ther an overall good site to go to to find information on this?

      Thanks

    55. Jonny V

      BJ, I look at this as being like a long camping trip.  My house is all electric (no gas line, and no propane tank).  When the power goes out, I’m stuck relying on a small generator and my BBQ grills for power and food prep.  The generator itself is nothing special, it’s one of those yellow ones from China that you see in the auto parts store for $299.  I got it new, ran for one hour, then changed the oil and it’s been fine ever since.  At only 3800 watts however, it’s not the solution.

      Your real problems when the power is out are keeping the refer/freezer running, and keeping the house warm.  If you don’t have a big chest type freezer, now is the time to get one.  Craigs list is a great place to get stuff cheap, and you can even post up ads offering to trade service (labor) for stuff.  Take some empty milk jugs (clean with soap and then baking soda rinse) fill with water and freeze.  4-6 of these will keep your freezer (and all the hard-bought food inside) frozen during power outages.  Sure you lose a little storage space, at least you don’t lose your food.

      I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need a generator.  You can find one used (test it first), and maybe trade for it or what ever.  You need one.  You need fuel for it too.  I keep seven 5gal cans, and two 6gal cans filled, and rotate them by using the gas in my truck.  It took me a while to get up to that level.  Today at the Goodwill store, I saw a big plug in baseboard type heater for $15.  You need one of these too.

      After food and heat are taken care of, you need a way to secure fresh, safe, water to drink and cook with.  The bare-bones basic is a pitcher type water filter set up.  Get some extra filters.  If you get $75 or so to spend, get a whole house water filter.

      I think that you’ll get the idea once you noodle this over for a while.  I’ve gone and purposely turned off the main power to the house and fired up my emergency set up just to see how we do for a day (more than once).  The results of these “tests” will tell you all you need to know.  It will also tell you how long your wife will put up with emergency conditions, and believe me, my wife makes sure that I have power to her bathroom!  Mercy on my woebegone soul if I don’t………

    56. Bill

      Hey willie, what part of Michigan you from?

    57. BJ

      Shellie and I were just discussing the other day about if I were to get back to work soon we would like to think about a wood burnier in the basement or sopmething like that that we could hook into the venting with a blower and heat that way. I will start looking for a generator….can you run the whole house on one if it is big enough?? We were looking for a deep freeze already on CL, but then found out mom doesn’t want hers anymore….she won’t listen to me  about the state of affairs  :-(  and said if we wanted it they would bring it up in the truck when they come to visit next month.
      Like the 4-6 milk jug idea…thanks

    58. Jonny V

      BJ, yes you can run a whole house.  You’ll need an emergency back up electrical panel.  You can get one at the big box stores for about $200.  You can start off using ultra heavy duty surge protector plugged into the generator (about $30) before upgrading.  The average house (3 bed 2 bath) is going to need about 10kw to run the whole thing.  Your backup panel will make you choose which circuits to power up on the generator, so you might lose some rooms or whatever.  Remember to SHUT OFF the main power BEFORE you start your generator on the backup panel, or you’ll be running power out into the power lines and could hurt or kill a linesman.  You really should go to one of the box stores and get some literature on backup generators and wiring before you do this.

      Mom sounds like a charm!  Take her up on the offer, by all means.  The stove in the basement is a good idea too, look into pellet stoves also.  They take less fuel, pollute less, and heat just as good.  You can find these stoves on CL too, make sure you look over anything before you pay.

    59. BJ

      yeah we have used CL so much since we discovered it back in 2007…we love it.

      Thanks

    60. overtheedge

      Flares and CMEs: the basics and why it is important to understand the possible effects.

      The sun is a giant nuclear powered magnet. A really scrambled up magnet. Yes, a north and south pole, but imagine a bazillion smaller magnets arranged over the surface of a ball.

      Anyway, there are cooler spots called sunspots. These are windows into the interior of the sun and are held open by magnetism. Well it doesn’t work for long and stuff blows out the hole. This is a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Almost always there is an attendent flare to go with it.

      Now if this ejected stuff hits our magnetosphere, it causes our planets magnet to vibrate wildly. Here is where it gets interesting for the geek in me. We live inside a magnet and its magnetic field. All of our electrical grid is long wires. When a wire is moved through a magnetic field, a current is induced. We can do the same thing by holding the wire steady and moving the magnet. Or we can turn the magnetic field on and off.  Or( shock, shutter and gasp)  we can just wobble the intensity of the field. A sudden ionospheric disturbance. Recall we live in the earth’s magnetic filed, well so is the surface of earth and during these events, ground currents are induced too. Yeppers, in the ground under our feet. It won’t hurt you by itself.

      These additional induced currents can overload the transformers, breakers, phase correctors, the whole bunch. And anything connected to the grid can fail too.

      Okay, the magnitude thingy. There are several classes of flares. The only ones we have to worry about are the X-class. X2 is 10 times stronger than an X1. X3, a hundred times more than X1. And so on. If they miss us, magnitude is only of interest to the science freeks.

      The duration thing is as follows. The higher the magnitude, typically the more violent and faster time-wise the ejection. There is also a marked increase in velocity that translates to shorter time to impact. Typically 3-8 days for the CME. The mass in the CME is highly magnetized and hot particles. There is also the EM burst from the flare that arrives in about 8 minutes from explosion. These usually aren’t a problem for anything inside the earth’s magnetosphere. Communications can be difficult, but usually still possible. If we are hit with the CME, we can experience anything from disruption to outright satellite kill. Yep, just an orbiting chunk of scrap metal.

      Why is this important? There is no giant transformer store. Siemens, the largest manufacturer, usually needs several months to fill an order for 1 transformer.  Now imagine massive demand for replacements to rebuild the grid. What if the power grid supplying the Siemens plant is one of those lost?

      Every lost segment of the grid to be repaired will be prioritized. The electrification of rural America took decades. Get the picture? In the science and power distribution community it is a matter of when. This is a big part of the appeal to convert to a smart grid. Flip the breakers and you isolate each segment and reduce the current to within spec. With the breakers flipped, no power other than what the earth’s magnetic field has induced. Shorter wire segments , less current and less damage to the infrastructure aka power distribution grid.

      It is decidedly illogical for the gov’t to use a smart grid to control the citizenry. I know some might fear it, but it goes well beyond foolish. It would be criminally insane. Count me among the proponents of smart grid technology. I’ll pass on the  smart house.

    61. BJ

      OTE,
      so it wouldn’t hurt computers and stuff if they are not plugged in??

      Thanks

    62. Bill

      Jonny V – If your going to freeze water to keep things frozen or cold in a freezer, why not just freeze some steaks.  I don’t see where water would be any better.  Is frozen water colder than frozen meat?  I don’t think so.

    63. Jonny V

      Hey Bill.  I agree that freezing steaks, chickens, bacon, whatever is better than freezing water.  BJ and his family are just getting their freezer, and so it (presumably) won’t be full right off the bat.  One of the main tricks to keeping a freezer frozen during a day or two of power outage is to keep it full.  Water jugs work good for this, and they are free.  If your freezer is partially empty, it won’t stay frozen as long if the power goes out.  So Nnnnyyyyyaaaaaaaaah……

    64. Bill

      JV – Yea that makes lots of since.  I wasn’t following along.  I have issues with that sometimes.  Excellent idea really..   So, as my freezer gets empty, it would make since to do jugs of water or steak or Bacon.  Yum.

      Hey!  On another note, gas hit $3.40 per gallon here in N. Mi.  Ouch man…..   I believe we are tipping.

      Get ready.  Be safe and God Bless.

    65. BJ

      Comments…..

    66. BJ

      what would you guys suggest stocking the deep freeze with….my heart tells me steak…..my head says probably not  🙁

    67. SmokinOkie

      I’ve heard that if you take a congressman, slice him thin, then batter and deep fry- it’s mighty good eatin’. Never tried it myself but if the grid goes down and society totally collapses…maybe a frozen congressman or two would keep the freezer full enough to maintain temp and provide supplemental food. One thing though, the democrats are too stringy and taste “a little gamey” according to one source. And we all know the republicans, being much fatter, would be loaded with cholesterol. Granted this is surely a last-ditch solution, but you never know when you’ll be down to your last ditch.

    68. Clem

      overtheedge, 
      Thanks, I appreciate the “geek in you”! What makes this a whole lot worse is a lack of sound money to rebuild. I’ll be looking into small scale electric power generation equipment like auto alternators, inverters and tread mill motors. Spare electronic components and the like. At least I’ll be able to throw something together off grid.
      IF this happens to occur in our life time.
      Cheers

    69. Race Mom

      Comments…..”Gods Creation’s” comment says its ALL.  Thank you!!!!

    70. Jonny V

      BJ, just saw your comment.  Watch “High Noon”, starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and Lloyd Bridges.  We (us here on this board and others like it) are the Marshall, and the elected politicians, bankers, and corporate types are the bad guy gang.  The cowardly villagers in the movie are today’s “zombies”.

    71. BJ

      LoL…….I get it, thanks Johnny V

    72. Mysticalgod

      The huge flare propelled a CME at earth and it will arrive about Friday the 13th.

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