Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Two new, experimental forecast products are now available, the 3-Day Forecast and the Forecast Discussion, both produced twice daily at 0030 and 1230 UTC. The 3-Day Forecast is a concise, one-page summary using NOAA Space Weather Scale terminology and the Forecast Discussion provides detailed information covering observations and forecast rationale tailored for the user requiring in-depth, scientific information.
These products are available in the Data and Products section of the website at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/three_day_forecast.txt and http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/forecast_discussion.txt, respectively. Users can also subscribe to these products in the Product Subscription Service under the Forecasts and Summaries product category.
Feedback on these products is welcomed through January 11th. Please submit feedback to: www.nws.noaa.gov/survey/nws-survey.php?code=3DSWF (3-Day Forecast) and www.nws.noaa.gov/survey/nws-survey.php?code=SWFD (Forecast Discussion).
These two products will supplement the existing product suite and no current products will be discontinued at this time.
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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