Auroral forecasts!

I am now happy to say that all planned auroral forecast modes are implemented on their respective PCs. From right to left in the picture below, one PC is running the nowcast, one the 1 hour forecast and one the 4 hour forecast.

DSC_0284Currently the PCs are sitting in my office. However, eventually the Norwegian Center for Space Weather will get a dedicated space (control center) where these can be located.

The service as presented on www.spaceweather.no shows the global distribution of the auroral oval as well how it is located compared to a range of pre-defined locations. For each location the geographic distribution as well as the sky view is shown. Currently the forecast locations are, from north to south, Norwegian cities/towns of Longyearbyen, Tromsø, Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo and the Solar Influences Data Centre in Brussels. The picture below show the global view of the auroral oval while writing this:

global

The auroral forecast software, called Svaltrack II, has generously been provided by prof. Fred Sigernes at UNIS. The forecast is based on the correlation between the shape and size of the auroral oval and the Kp index. As input the forecasts therefore needs forecasted Kp values which in this case are obtained the Wing model provided by NOAA SWPC. The tropospheric weather information in the model is obtained from yr.no.

Details about how the auroral forecasts work have been published in the Journal for Space Climate and Space Weather. The paper may be downloaded here.