Coming up for air again... Well I normally don't explore this part of the Forum.
Speaking as an astronomer, 2013 is solar maximum year, however, predictions
suggest a somewhat weaker peak than the previous several. Not that long ago
people were speculating that we might be entering another Maunder minimum
where the Sun hardly had spots for 70 years, and was tied to global cooling.
There can be a giant flare at any time and if it's pointing our way the highly
energetic particles can certainly disrupt satellite communications and power grids.
In fact there might be a glancing blow tomorrow. www.spaceweather.com
the place to go. Those up north might see the aurora over the weekend.