3.5 An All-Clear Space Weather Forecasting System Based on Magnetogram in Near Real Time

Monday, 11 January 2016: 5:00 PM
Room 352 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
David A. Falconer, University of Alabama Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and N. Barghouty and I. Khazanov

Large solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), drivers of severe space weather, are particularly difficult to forecast. NOAA presently uses the McIntosh Active region category system, a qualitative predictive system largely based on historical data but adjustable by the user. MAG4 (for Magnetogram Forecast) assumes that flares and CMEs are explosive release of energy stored in the solar coronal magnetic field, and thus active regions that have more free energy are more likely to produce flares and CMEs. Since free energy cannot be directly measured, MAG4 uses a proxy of the active region magnetic free energy, and forecasts an event rate based on this proxy. Forecasts are given as probability measures or expected rates for a given event (flares, CMEs, or Solar Proton Events (SPEs)). No time or magnitude predictions are given; such data remain beyond present capabilities. MAG4 is being transitioned to use vector magnetograms for which the free-energy proxy can be measured more accurately. MAG4 forecasts are further refined using recent flare activity. This talk will present MAG4, recent developments as well as sample operational applications. Acknowledgements: MAG4 development at Marshall is currently being supported by NASA's Game Changing Development Program.
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