No, there isn't a solar storm headed to Earth today
While a number of articles point to an approaching solar storm, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center forecasts put probabilities around 1%Posted — Updated
The severe conditions described in these articles occur only about 8 times on average during each 11 year solar cycle. They also only affect the side of the Earth facing the Sun and only for an hour two two, even at the levels described.
What's really happening
The flare was strong enough to cause disruption to high-frequency radio communications on the sunlit side of the Earth.
But that was last week. The energy released by a solar flare travels at the speed of light, or about 8.3 minutes to Earth.
The Space Weather Prediction Center, not unlike their more terrestrial colleagues in the National Weather Service also issues watches (possible space weather activity with a lead-time of hours to days) and warnings (a significant space weather event is occurring, imminent or likely). No watches or warnings have been issued by the SWPC since July 1 when readings of the Planetary K-index, a measure of geomagnetic disturbances, exceeded the lowest threshold indicating moderate magnetic changes, still a step below even a minor storm.
The latest forecast shows a 1 percent chance for radio blackouts or solar radiation storms. Current and predicted Planetary K-index levels are also well below the levels prompting the July 1 warning.
The forecast through the first week of August describes "very low levels" of solar activity and the Earth's geomagnetic field at "quiet to active levels." That's far below levels that might trigger space weather storm warnings or watches.
No space weather storms have been observed or are predicted in the past or next 24 hours according to the latest report from the SWPC.