Space Weather Guide

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What is Space Weather?

Most of the time space, weather is of little concern in our everyday lives. However, when the space environment is disturbed by the variable output of particles and radiation from the Sun, technologies that we depend on in our daily life, in space orbit as well as on the ground, can be affected. Some of the most dramatic space weather effects occur in association with eruptions of material from the solar atmosphere into interplanetary space. Thus, our space weather is a consequence of the behavior of the Sun, the nature of Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere, and our location in the solar system. The increasing deployment of radiation -current- and field sensitive technological systems over the last few decades and the increasing presence of complex systems in space combine to make society more vulnerable to solar-terrestrial disturbances. This has been emphasized by the large number of problems associated with the severe magnetic storms between 1989 and 1991 as the 11 year solar activity cycle peaked.

SOHO Real-time View of the Sun

Space Weather Outlook

Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast 21 December 2014


Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast

SDF Number 355 Issued at 2200Z on 21 Dec 2014


IA.  Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 20/2100Z to 21/2100Z: Solar activity has been at moderate levels for the past 24 hours. The largest solar event of the period was a M1 event observed at 21/0732Z from Region 2242 (S18W57). There are currently 9 numbered sunspot regions on the disk.


IB.  Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be moderate with a chance for X-class flares on days one, two, and three (22 Dec, 23 Dec, 24 Dec).


IIA.  Geophysical Activity Summary 20/2100Z to 21/2100Z: The geomagnetic field has been at quiet to active levels for the past 24 hours. Solar wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of 457 km/s at 21/1847Z. Total IMF reached 17 nT at 21/1825Z. The maximum southward component of Bz reached -13 nT at 21/1854Z. Protons greater than 10 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 3 pfu at 21/2015Z. Electrons greater than 2 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 400 pfu.


IIB.  Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at unsettled to minor storm levels on day one (22 Dec) and quiet to unsettled levels on days two and three (23 Dec, 24 Dec). Protons have a chance of crossing threshold on days one, two, and three (22 Dec, 23 Dec, 24 Dec).


III.  Event probabilities 22 Dec-24 Dec

Class M    85/85/85

Class X    40/40/40

Proton     30/30/30

PCAF       green


IV.  Penticton 10.7 cm Flux

Observed           21 Dec 206

Predicted   22 Dec-24 Dec 205/200/185

90 Day Mean        21 Dec 158


V.  Geomagnetic A Indices

Observed Afr/Ap 20 Dec  006/006

Estimated Afr/Ap 21 Dec  012/015

Predicted Afr/Ap 22 Dec-24 Dec  018/022-007/008-007/008


VI.  Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 22 Dec-24 Dec

A.  Middle Latitudes

Active                40/15/15

Minor Storm           20/05/05

Major-severe storm    05/01/01

B.  High Latitudes

Active                10/20/20

Minor Storm           25/25/25

Major-severe storm    60/20/20


NOAA/SEC Satellite Environment

GOES X-Ray Flux

Dst Geomagnetic Index Estimate

Auroral Activity Extrapolated from NOAA POES


Dst > -20 nT


-20 nT > Dst > -50 nT


High: -50 nT > Dst > -100 nT


Dst < -100 nT


ACE Solar Wind Real-Time Data

Note: Images and text on this page are provided by NASA/ESA SOHO website. Space Weather Today from NOAA's Space Environment Center.