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The variation of geomagnetic storm duration with intensity

Haines, C., Owens, M. J. ORCID:, Barnard, L. ORCID:, Lockwood, M. ORCID: and Ruffenach, A. (2019) The variation of geomagnetic storm duration with intensity. Solar Physics, 294 (11). 154. ISSN 0038-0938

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11207-019-1546-z


Variability in the near-Earth solar wind conditions can adversely affect a number of ground- and space-based technologies. Such space-weather impacts on ground infrastructure are expected to increase primarily with geomagnetic storm intensity, but also storm duration, through time-integrated effects. Forecasting storm duration is also necessary for scheduling the resumption of safe operating of affected infrastructure. It is therefore important to understand the degree to which storm intensity and duration are correlated. The long-running, global geomagnetic disturbance index, aa , has recently been recalibrated to account for the geographic distribution of the component stations. We use this aaH index to analyse the relationship between geomagnetic storm intensity and storm duration over the past 150 years, further adding to our understanding of the climatology of geomagnetic activity. Defining storms using a peak-above-threshold approach, we find that more intense storms have longer durations, as expected, though the relationship is nonlinear. The distribution of durations for a given intensity is found to be approximately log-normal. On this basis, we provide a method to probabilistically predict storm duration given peak intensity, and test this against the aaH dataset. By considering the average profile of storms with a superposed-epoch analysis, we show that activity becomes less recurrent on the 27-day timescale with increasing intensity. This change in the dominant physical driver, and hence average profile, of geomagnetic activity with increasing threshold is likely the reason for the nonlinear behaviour of storm duration.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:87801


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