Global geomagnetic activity (Kp)

Planetary K-index

Information


The nowcast Kp index is provided by GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

The local K-indices were designed to quantify the magnitude of geomagnetic disturbance on a quasi-logarithmic scale running from 0 (quiet) to 9 (severe storm) with cadence of 3-hours. The planetary K-index, or Kp, is derived from local K-values of 13 selected geomagnetic observatories, in order to provide a measure of global disturbance level.

While at lower latitudes Kp is a good indicator of storminess, in Northern Norway local geomagnetic conditions may deviate significantly from those of global, and severe regional geomagnetic disturbances (causing spectacular aurora displays as well as potentially threatening critical infrastructures) can develop even during moderate planetary activity periods (i.e., relatively low Kp values). Furthermore, the characteristic time of the more localized substorms, which are of higher importance at high latitudes, is considerably shorter than the 3-hour cadence of K-indices. Therefore, in Norway it is especially important to monitor local, rather than global measures in near real-time.