NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center

Space Weather Now Description

The Space Weather Now page is intended to give the non-technical user a "plain language" look at space weather. After the page is loaded it refreshes every minute. The following is a brief description of each section on the page.

Latest GOES Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) image. Previously this was H-alpha images from the Mauna Loa Observatory which are still available Description and more images.

NOAA Scales - The scales describe the environmental disturbances for three event types: geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts. The scales have numbered levels, analogous to hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes that convey severity. They list possible effects at each level. They also show how often such events happen, and give a measure of the intensity of the physical causes.

Maximum in past 24-hours - These are the highest values over the last 24-hours for Geomagnetic Storms; planetary K-values for the last 8 3-hourly periods. Solar Radiation Storms; average 5-minute protons at >10 MeV from primary GOES satellite. Radio Blackouts; X-ray 1-minute values from primary GOES satellite.

Current - Geomagnetic Storms (latest 3-hour K-value), Solar Radiation Storms (averaged 5-minute proton value), and Radio Blackouts (x-ray 1-minute value) current values.

Latest Alert - Updated hourly and as Alerts, Warnings, or Watches are issued.

Also See

Today's Space Weather - A look at space weather for the more technical user. This page has the latest full-disk image, the 3-day Solar-Geophysical Forecast, Solar X-ray Flux plot, Satellite Environment Plot, and more information.

D-region Absorption - Long range communications using high frequency (HF) radio waves (3-30 MHz) depend on reflection of the signals in the ionosphere.

Space Weather for Aviation Service Providers - designed for the aviation community to communicate space weather information in terms that are easy to interpret and understand. Solar events can have a detrimental impact on airlines and ground equipment. Space weather storms can result in lost or degraded communications, unreliable navigational equipment, flight-critical electronic system problems, and radiation hazards to crew and passengers.

Real-time Solar Wind pages - Solar wind values collected by the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). Data is averaged over the last 15-minutes for the values. The latest dial display: Explanation

Auroral Map - The plots on this page show the current extent and position of the auroral oval at each pole, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite.

Solar Cycle Progression - A plot indicating the progression of the current solar cycle. These are updated at the first of each month.

USER Groups - Links to specific pages of importance to the various user categories served by SWPC.

Space Weather Themes - A summary of a number of SWPC web pages with links.

Return to Space Weather Now page

Updated: Oct 5, 2012