NOAA 99 Space Weather Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Barbara McGehan
6/7/99

NOAA'S SPACE ENVIRONMENT CENTER ISSUES FORECASTS FOR SPACE WEATHER

We are now in the midst of Solar Cycle 23 and scientists expect increased solar storms and geomagnetic activity as the sun approaches solar maximum, which is expected to peak around the year 2000. This may result in the "other Y2K problem" - an increase in solar and geomagnetic activity that could have significant impacts on various industries including navigation, power distribution, radio communications systems and others. What will this mean to us? How will satellites and other technological systems be impacted? What are the latest forecast tools and techniques available to forecast this activity? What will happen to our pagers, cell phones and GPS systems?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center is responsible for issuing warnings, watches and forecasts of the space environment and potential impacts on Earth. The Center, located in Boulder, Colo., continuously monitors the solar environment with a complex array of satellites operated by NOAA, NASA and other international partners.

NOAA has a number of experts on space weather who are available to talk with the media concerning the "other Y2K problem" and who can comment on the space environment. Among them are:

  • Dr. Ernie Hildner, director of NOAA's Space Environment Center
  • Dr. Jo Ann Joselyn, space scientist
  • Mr. Gary Heckman, senior forecaster
  • Mr. Joe Hirman, chief of Space Weather Operations

For additional information or to arrange an interview, please contact Barbara McGehan, NOAA Public Affairs, 303-497-6288.