J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 3, 2013
Space Weather and Challenges for Modern Society
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||25 June 2013|
Power grid disturbances and polar cap index during geomagnetic storms
Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, DK-2100
* Corresponding author: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 22 May 2013
The strong geomagnetic storm in the evening of 30 October 2003 caused high-voltage power grid disturbances in Sweden that expanded to produce hour-long power line outage in Malmö located in the southern part of the country. This was not a unique situation. The geomagnetic storm on 13 March 1989 caused extensive disruptions of high-voltage power circuits especially in the Province of Quebec, Canada, but also to a lesser degree in Scandinavia. Similar events have occurred earlier, among others, during the great storms of 13–14 July 1982 and 8–9 February 1986. These high-voltage power grid disturbances were related to impulsive magnetic variations accompanying extraordinarily intense substorm events. The events were preceded by lengthy intervals of unusually high values of the Polar Cap (PC) index caused by enhanced transpolar ionospheric convection. The transpolar convection transports magnetic flux from the dayside to nightside which causes equatorward displacements of the region of auroral activity enabling the substorms to hit vital power grids. During the 30 October 2003 event the intense solar proton radiation disabled the ACE satellite observations widely used to provide forecast of magnetic storm events. Hence in this case the alarmingly high PC index could provide useful warning of the storm as a back-up of the missing ACE-based forecast. In further cases, monitoring the PC index level could provide supplementary storm warnings to the benefit of power grid operators.
Key words: geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) / technological systems / magnetic fields / substorms / polar Ionosphere
© P. Stauning, Published by EDP Sciences 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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