[ESIP-all] HEADS UP - another space weather event underway

Patricia Reiff reiff at rice.edu
Thu Nov 20 08:39:23 EST 2003

Space weather alerts are not part of my ESIP or REASoN projects, but 
are funded by my NASA and NSF "sun-earth connections" grants.  But I 
thought you all might be interested in receiving alerts of "space 
weather' - there have been some low-latitude auroras recently and I 
don't want you to say I didn't let you all know!  You can subscribe to 
our alert service if you are interested....!

For the first time, all our realtime "space weather stoplight" triggers 
are RED simultaneously!
The SEC had sent out a general alert last night, so our SEC stoplight 
went red yesterday at 4:20 pm CST.
Our alert based on the Boyle index (an estimate of the polar cap 
potential, but not taking saturation into account)  went RED at 2:30 am 
this morning, and has waffled between red and yellow since.  Currently 
ACE indicates 50 nT southward IMF, and so our Boyle index is over 400!

The resulting realtime Kp hit our RED level (we recently upped the 
trigger level to 7 rather than 5, in order to filter out more minor 
disturbances).  The Kp level didn't hit red by our level until 6 am 
(our alert on that went out at 6:40).

So, the subscribers to our "spacalrt at mailman.rice.edu" got accurate 
warning of the major event over 4 hours before the Kp responded.   I am 
very proud of the system, thanks to CISM (www.bu.edu/cism/) support.  
We are still cleaning up all our lower-level pages which explain how we 
calculate all these values, etc. But the system is working fine and I 
am very confident that the use of our stoplight 
is a valid, easy way for the public to know that something is happening 
or will be soon.
For more details on the stoplight and its levels, see 

Also with CISM support, my teacher intern Anastasia Furitsch is showing 
how the Boyle index has been a very accurate predictor of major auroral 
events over the past few years.

To subscribe to our alert email system (it sends our an email whenever 
any of the triggers reaches, or leaves, the red level) send an email to
spacalrt-subscribe at mailman.rice.edu

We may soon change the logic so that to only sends out email when it 
reaches red; that way it doesn't send too many emails... this morning 
we've had ten emails sent out, which is probably too many.

This round of space weather, for example, hasn't yet made it to the 
spaceweather.com page!


      /     \     Prof. Patricia H. Reiff     
     /        \      Director, Rice Space Institute
   / _^ ^_ \     Rice University MS108, Houston, TX 77251-1892
  / /  O O  \ \     email:  reiff at rice.edu             
 /  \    V    /  \     www:  http://space.rice.edu/  
/  /  ""R""  \   \                        
 | \  ""U""  / |    "Why does man want to go to the Moon?   
    | _/|\ /|\_ |   .. Why does Rice play Texas?"..JFK, Rice Stadium, 
    /             \

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