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Powerful magnetic storm coming: How to be prepared

Powerful magnetic storm coming: How to be prepared RBC-Ukraine collage
Author: Maria Kholina

A strong magnetic storm is set to hit the Earth the day after tomorrow, on December 9. According to experts' forecasts, this storm will reach a K-index of 6, corresponding to a high-level red storm. Such a storm can lead to worsened well-being in people and disruptions in electronic devices, according to Meteoagent.

What are magnetic storms?

Various flashes and explosions regularly occur on the Sun, resulting in the release of solar energy into space. These releases disperse in different directions, including towards Earth.

Solar energy consists of charged particles (protons and electrons) that can quickly move through space. When these energy flows reach the Earth's magnetosphere, activity occurs, known as solar or magnetic storms, as described by experts.

Scientists classify storms by intensity: from K-index 2 to K-index 9. All storms above K-index 5 are red-level storms. The higher the K-index, the stronger the storm.

Red-level storms can impact human activity, well-being, and the operation of various communication sources: satellites, GPRS, mobile communication towers, radio frequencies. Polar auroras may be observed during storms with a K-index above 7.

Details about the upcoming storm

After a strong magnetic storm over the past weekend, the magnetosphere has been relatively calm. For almost three days now, a magnetic storm with a K-index of 4, corresponding to a medium-level storm, has been observed.

However, on Saturday, December 9, according to data from satellite systems NOAA, TESIS, and international meteorological laboratories worldwide, the magnetic storm will reach a K-index of 6, corresponding to a strong red-level storm. The storm is expected to subside by Sunday.

How magnetic storms affect humans

There are numerous studies confirming the correlation between magnetic storms and human well-being.

People often complain of symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Migraines
  • Brain fog
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of concentration and attention
  • Sleep problems at night
  • General weakness
  • Rapid fatigue
  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggravation of chronic illnesses

On such days, people more frequently seek help from medical professionals, especially cardiologists.

However, the greatest danger of magnetic storms is posed to astronauts who are beyond the protective shield of the Earth's atmosphere. They are at risk of exposure to high levels of radiation, significantly increasing the risk of cancer.

How to take care of oneself

Doctors typically provide general recommendations and advise individuals to rest more, monitor their health, and get adequate sleep during magnetic storm days.

Additionally:

  • Eat a balanced and regular diet
  • Drink enough water
  • Reduce physical and psycho-emotional stress
  • Drink herbal tea
  • Take walks in the fresh air
  • Limit alcohol and cigarettes
  • Take a contrast shower in the morning and exercise
  • Ventilate indoor spaces
  • Choose lighter types of sports
  • Avoid excessive strain and engage in calm activities in the evenings
  • Seek medical help if necessary