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Validation of a priori CME arrival predictions made using real-time heliospheric imager observations

Tucker-Hood, K., Scott, C., Owens, M., Jackson, D., Barnard, L., Davies, J. A., Crothers, S., Lintott, C., Simpson, R., Savani, N. P., Wilkinson, J., Harder, B., Eriksson, G. M., Baeten, E. M. L. and Wan Wah, L. L. (2015) Validation of a priori CME arrival predictions made using real-time heliospheric imager observations. Space Weather, 13 (1). pp. 35-48. ISSN 1542-7390

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/2014SW001106

Abstract/Summary

Between December 2010 and March 2013, volunteers for the Solar Stormwatch (SSW) Citizen Science project have identified and analyzed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the near real-time Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Heliospheric Imager observations, in order to make “Fearless Forecasts” of CME arrival times and speeds at Earth. Of the 60 predictions of Earth-directed CMEs, 20 resulted in an identifiable Interplanetary CME (ICME) at Earth within 1.5–6 days, with an average error in predicted transit time of 22 h, and average transit time of 82.3 h. The average error in predicting arrival speed is 151 km s−1, with an average arrival speed of 425km s−1. In the same time period, there were 44 CMEs for which there are no corresponding SSW predictions, and there were 600 days on which there was neither a CME predicted nor observed. A number of metrics show that the SSW predictions do have useful forecast skill; however, there is still much room for improvement. We investigate potential improvements by using SSW inputs in three models of ICME propagation: two of constant acceleration and one of aerodynamic drag. We find that taking account of interplanetary acceleration can improve the average errors of transit time to 19 h and arrival speed to 77 km s−1.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:41486
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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