New UK space-weather centre to track arrival of solar super-storms

London, Dec 26: Britain is set to have its own space-weather centre for predicting the arrival of solar “super-storms” that can trigger electricity blackouts across whole cities and knock out GPS satellites by next year.

Space weather forecasts will start from the spring of 2014 and are designed to give early warning to private companies and public utilities with critical equipment that is vulnerable to electrical malfunction during a large solar storm, the Independent reported.

The Met Office, which is charged with providing the round-the-clock forecasts, will receive 4.6 million pounds over the next three years to bring the service fully online, covering 365 days a year.

It will be only the second space weather prediction service in the world and will collaborate closely with the one operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (ANI)