Image: Shutterstock

Blog Editor’s Note: Dr. Tamitha Skov is one of the leading experts on solar activity and the nation’s best educator on the subject. Her videos and posts about on-going and upcoming events are informative and engrossing.  We highly recommend.

Thanks, Dr. Skov, for pointing this out!

We wonder what other activities are being impacted by solar weather disrupting GPS. 

We wonder what efforts are made to warn the public.

Dr. Skov’s Twitter

Dr. Tamitha Skov
The ongoing strong #solarstorm is impacting #GPS and even has caused the temporary suspension of drilling platforms due to the unreliability of even precision GPS signals and due to the GICs (geomagnetically induced currents in the ground). Events like these will come more often as we rise towards solar maximum. Thanks to @Vincent_Ledvinafor the heads up!

Chris Mason (Facebook)

Last night’s CME caused a shutdown at my drilling rig.
I’ve been a wellsite geologist for close to 30 years and last night / this morning was the first time that we briefly suspended drilling operations due to a solar storm. Multiple rigs were effected in the area (SE Sask). The electronics in the tool that tells us which direction and inclination the drill bit is going was receiving so much interference from the storm that it’s readings were unreliable.
(Not my photo)
Totally believable: Oil rigs needing to suspend drilling due to Space Weather! These kinds of things are very common during big events like the G3-level solar storm we are in now. GICs reached several volts per km at times last night plus GPS signals scintillate under aurora, which we can see right there in the picture. Those things combined can cause major issues for many drilling operations because they rely on precision GPS, especially those at high latitudes. National power grids in Canada and the USA are also dealing with GICs right now as well. Its not too bad thus far, but it is a strain. Guaranteed they are noticing. Thanks so much for reporting!