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The Art and Science of Long-Range Space Weather ForecastingLong-range space weather forecasts are akin to seasonal forecasts of terrestrial weather. We don t expect to forecast individual events but we do hope to forecast the underlying level of activity important for satellite operations and mission pl&g. Forecasting space weather conditions years or decades into the future has traditionally been based on empirical models of the solar cycle. Models for the shape of the cycle as a function of its amplitude become reliable once the amplitude is well determined - usually two to three years after minimum. Forecasting the amplitude of a cycle well before that time has been more of an art than a science - usually based on cycle statistics and trends. Recent developments in dynamo theory -the theory explaining the generation of the Sun s magnetic field and the solar activity cycle - have now produced models with predictive capabilities. Testing these models with historical sunspot cycle data indicates that these predictions may be highly reliable one, or even two, cycles into the future.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hathaway, David H. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Wilson, Robert M. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
Space Weather Week: The Meeting of Science, Research, Applications, Operation, and Users(Boulder, CO)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.