SPACE WEATHER INDICATORS
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) devised Space Weather Indicators to denote an intensity rating for Solar X-rays and Geomangnetic Storm Activity.
This page provides an explanation for these indicators. Being aware of these indicators will assist your understanding of space weather and its effects on the environment.
About the Solar X-ray Status Monitor
= NORMAL: Solar X-ray flux is quiet — (< 1.00e-6 W/m2)
= ACTIVE: Solar X-ray flux is active — (>= 1.00e-6 W/m2)
= M-CLASS FLARE: M-Class Flare has occurred — (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-5 W/m2)
= X-CLASS FLARE!: X-Class Flare has occurred — (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-4 W/m2)
NOTE: According to NOAA, "The designation "Mega Flare" was chosen by Kevin Loch when the status monitor was created on March 4, 1999. There is no 'official' designation for flares in this range."
About the Geomagnetic Field Status Monitor
= The Geomagnetic Field is Quiet: (Kp < 4)
= The Geomagnetic Field is Unsettled: (Kp = 4)
= A Geomagnetic Storm has Occurred: (Kp > 4)
NOTE: The intensity of geomagnetic storms is measured against something known as the KP Index, and is described on the page How to Read Space Weather Graphs.
NOAA Space Weather Scale Descriptions
NOAA recently revamped their entire website! They continue to work on it; therefore, some topics on NOAA might be difficult to locate. The NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions appear in three tables on a functioning new page. The tables are identified as:
- Geomagnetic Storms
- Solar Radiation Storms
- Radio Blackouts
NOAA wrote of the Space Weather Scales:
"The NOAA Space Weather Scales were introduced as a way to communicate to the general public the current and future space weather conditions and their possible effects on people and systems."
Now . . . let's take a look at NOAA's Space Weather Scales: