The forecasts for 2012 are coming out, and among the predictions: the end of the world. The truth? The world's not scheduled to end in 2012, at least not according to the Maya. That said, things could start to seem downright apocalyptic if a solar flare wipes out a power grid in your region or an atmospheric river bears down on California in a superstorm.
While there's a chance these scenarios will play out, they may not. All we know for sure is that the phenomenon known as "atmospheric rivers" exists, and that storms on the sun will get progressively more intense in 2012.
"To make a terrestrial weather analogy, we'll be in hurricane season big-time next year," Kunches says. "We'll really be smack-dab in the season for more eruptive kind of space weather."