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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2019-38
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2019-38
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: review article 01 Aug 2019

Submitted as: review article | 01 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).

Space Weather Forecasting: What We Know Now and What Are the Current and Future Challenges?

Bruce T. Tsurutani1, Gurbax S. Lakhina2, and Rajkumar Hajra3 Bruce T. Tsurutani et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif, USA
  • 2Indian Institute for Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai, India
  • 3National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Gadanki, India

Abstract. Geomagnetic storms are caused by solar wind southward magnetic fields that impinge upon the Earth’s magnetosphere (Dungey, 1961). How can we forecast the occurrence of these interplanetary events? We view this as the most important challenge in Space Weather. We discuss the case for magnetic clouds (MCs), interplanetary sheaths upstream of ICMEs, corotating interaction regions (CIRs) and high speed streams (HSSs). The sheath- and CIR-related magnetic storms will be difficult to predict and will require better knowledge of the slow solar wind and modeling to solve. There are challenges for forecasting the fluences and spectra of solar energetic particles. This will require better knowledge of interplanetary shock properties from the Sun to 1 AU (and beyond), the upstream slow solar wind and energetic seed particles. Dayside aurora, triggering of nightside substorms, and formation of new radiation belts can all be caused by shock and interplanetary ram pressure impingements onto the Earth’s magnetosphere. The acceleration and loss of relativistic magnetospheric killer electrons and penetrating electric fields in terms of causing positive and negative ionospheric storms are currently reasonable well understood, but refinements can still be made. The forecasting of extreme events (extreme shocks, extreme solar energetic particle events, and extreme geomagnetic storms (Carrington events or greater)) are also discussed. Energetic particle precipitation and ozone destruction is briefly discussed. For many of the studies, the Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), Arase, and SWARM data will be useful.

Bruce T. Tsurutani et al.
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Bruce T. Tsurutani et al.
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Short summary
Current space weather problems are discussed for young researchers. We have discussed some of the major problems that need to be solved for space weather forecasting to become a reality.
Current space weather problems are discussed for young researchers. We have discussed some of...
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