Since Sunday, the sun has launched a barrage of flares, particle radiation and blobs of plasma that have disrupted some radio communications and forced airlines to reroute northern flights.

Scientists expected the solar storm — the most intense since 2006 — to intensify Thursday morning as the latest blast pushes past Earth.

The storm could temporarily disrupt GPS signals and stress the North American power grid, according to Yihua Zheng, a scientist at NASA’s Space Weather Laboratory, but the Earth’s magnetic field will repel much of the radiation, protecting people on the ground.