Space storms—for our purposes, meaning all particle, electromagnetic, and ionospheric disturbances resulting from solar storms, coronal mass ejections, fast solar wind streams, and ionospheric instabilities—pose several costly hazards. They can impair hardware in space and disrupt power and communication grids on Earth and communications with satellites.

U.S. space weather services, as their operators acknowledge, fall short of providing the accurate, reliable forecasts their customers desire. The technological, scientific, and infrastructural resources exist, however, to significantly improve these services before the next solar maximum, expected around 2001.