The good news: There's no such thing as a killer sun flare that could destroy Earth. But annual losses due to power outages throughout the United States caused by solar storms are estimated at more than $100 billion, officials say. Engineers from several government agencies and industry partners have teamed up to explore solutions to better predict, and thus mitigate, adverse impacts solar storms have on power grids.
Extreme instances of electromagnetic energy from solar events, known as solar storms, could increase in frequency and intensity in 2013, according to space weather experts. While scientists recommend the public and private sectors prepare for the potential threat, insufficient information about the source and nature of solar storms makes the task challenging.
Defense Editor Max Cacas describes the arrival of the so-called solar max year in his SIGNAL Magazine article titled "Solar Storms Test Earthbound Preparedness."