NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center

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Space Weather Alerts
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Alert Message Keyword: Value Pairs
with Format, Description, and Example

Space weather alert messages are made up of Keyword: Value pairs as defined in the table below. The table is ordered as the keywords appear in alert messages, i.e. Space Weather Message Code: is always the first keyword and the other keywords follow in the order shown in the table, ending with a Comment: if its present. However, only keywords with values are included in the messages. See Sample Messages.

The Used In column shows which messages may use each keyword. Alert Codes and Names are shown in the Alerts Table. Some keywords are optional meaning the information is included if available, but may not be present.

NOTE: All keywords have NOT been implemented. The Sample Messages page shows which keywords are currently implemented.

 

Keyword:

Value

Used in

Format, Description, Example

Space Weather Message Code:
Code
All messages

Six character code. First 3 char ALT, WAR, WAT, or SUM. Each "code" has a corresponding "message name".
Space Weather Message Code: ALTXMF

Serial Number:
integer
All messages

Integer; range 1 through 9999. Each code is numbered independently. New alerts with not predecessor will start at 1. New alerts that replace old alerts with continue existing serial numbers.. Extensions, continuations and cancellations are numbered in sequence with the code.
Serial Number: 1

Issue Time:
Date/time UTC
All messages

Standard time format:
2002 Jan 1 0503 UTC

       
WATCH:
WARNING:
EXTENDED WARNING:
ALERT:
CONTINUED ALERT:
SUMMARY:
Message Name
All messages

Type of message, including if its an extention or continuation, and the message name. Each "message name" has a corresponding "code".

ALERT: X-ray Flux exceeded M5

CONTINUED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 4

CANCEL WATCH:
CANCEL WARNING:
CANCEL ALERT:
CANCEL SUMMARY:
Message Name
Cancellations
Type of message being cancelled, and the message name.
CANCEL SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
       
Extension to Serial Number:
integer
Extended warnings
WARK0x, WARPX1, WARPC0
Serial number of the message being extended.
Continuation of Serial Number:
integer
Continued alerts
ALTEF3
Serial number of the message being continued.
Cancel Serial Number:
integer
Cancellations
Serial number of the message being canceled.
Original Issue Time:
Date/time UTC
Cancellations
Standard time format
       
Threshold Reached:
Date/time UTC
ALTXMF, ALTK0x, ALTEF3
Standard time format
For X-rays, time x-ray flux reached M5
Begin Time:
Date/time UTC
SUMXxx, ALTTP2, ALTTP4, ALT10R,
ALTPXx, SUMPXx,
ALTPC0, SUMPC0
Standard time format
Maximum Time:
Date/time UTC
SUMXxx, SUM10R,
continued ALTPXx, SUMPXx,
continued ALTPC0, SUMPC0
Standard time format
End Time:
Date/time UTC
SUMXxx, SUM10R, SUMPXx SUMPC0
(Optional on
ALTTP2, ALTTP4)
Standard time format
Valid From:
Date/time UTC
Warnings and extensions
WARSUD, WARK0x,
WARPX1, WARPC0
Standard time format
Valid To:
Date/time UTC
WARSUD, WARK0x, WARPX1, WARPC0

Standard time format.
On geomagnetic warnings this must be a whole hour at the end of a 3-hour period, e.g. 0300, 0600, ... 2400.

Now Valid Until:
Date/time UTC
Extended
WARK0x, WARPX1, WARPC0
Standard time format
On extended geomagnetic warnings this must be a whole hour at the end of a 3-hour synoptic period, e.g. 0300, 0600, ... 2400 UTC.
Observed:
Date/time UTC
SUMSUD
Standard time format
IP Shock Passage Observed:
Date/time UTC
Optional on
WARSUD
Standard time format.
Interplanetary Shock Passage Observed. From ACE, Triana, SOHO, etc.
Valid for UTC Day:
Date UTC
WATAxx, ALTSTR
UTC Year, Month, Day
2002 Jan 1
Synoptic Period:
2100-2400 UTC
ALTK0x
3-hour synoptic period for the K-index. There are 8 3-hour synoptic period in a day: 0000-0300, 0300-0600, 0600-0900, 090-1200, 1200-1500, 1500-1800, 1800-2100, 2100-2400 UTC. Note end of day is denoted as 2400 instead of 0000 on the next UTC day.
       
Current X-ray Flux:
M6.2
ALTXMF
C, M, or X (upper case), 1 significant digit, X17.0 not X17, no spaces.
See X-ray flare class
X-ray Class:
M6.2
SUMXxx
C, M, or X (upper case), 1 significant digit, X17.0 not X17, no spaces.
See X-ray flare class
Optical Class:
1b
Optional on
ALTXMF, SUMXxx
2 characters, Importance is S (upper case), 1, 2, 3, or 4. Brightness is lower case; f, n, b.
Location:
N32W45
Optional on
ALTXMF, SUMXxx
N/S and E/W. 2 digit distance 00 to 90. S25E90 for Limb. No spaces.
Region Number:
9936
Optional on
ALTXMF, SUMXxx
4-digit integer, 0000 through 9999, with leading zeros. Only last 4-digits are used the sequence. Actual numbers are over 10,000.
Duration:
33 minutes
SUM10R
(Optional on
ALTTP2, ALTTP4)
Integer, always minutes. For events with the same begin and end times, the duration is 1 minute.
Estimated Velocity:
1003 km/s
ALTTP2
Integer and units. No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000. Reported by ground radio observatories.
Frequency Range:
30-80 MHz
Optional on
ALTTP2, ALTTP4
Integer range nnn-nnn MHz, no leading zeros
Importance:
2
Optional on
ALTTP2, ALTTP4
Integer: 1, 2, or 3
Peak Flux:
4700 sfu
SUM10R
Integer and units. No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000.
1 solar flux unit (sfu) = 10-22 Wm-2 Hz-1
Latest Penticton Noon Flux:
274 sfu
SUM10R
Integer and units. Last Penticton noon flux, may not be today or yesterday -- just last know value.
1 solar flux unit (sfu) = 10-22 Wm-2 Hz-1
Deviation:
114 nT
SUMSUD
Integer and units. No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000.
nT = nanotesla
Station:
HOL
ALTTP2, ALTTP4
SUM10R, SUMSUD, ALTK0x, ALTEF3
Radio: SAG, LEA, PAL, SVI, HOL, CUL
Electron: GOES12, GOES11
Warning Condition:
Onset
WARK0x, WARPX1, WARPC0
Onset or Persistence
Active Warning:
Yes
ALTK0x
Yes or No
Observed Yesterday:
Yes
ALTEF3
Yes or No
Yesterday Maximum 2MeV Flux:
1435 pfu
Optional on
ALTEF3
Integer and units. No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000.
1 pfu = particles·s-1·ster-1·cm-2
Maximum 10MeV Flux:
35 pfu
Continued ALTPXx,
SUMPXx
Integer and units
No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000.
1.0 pfu = particles·s-1·ster-1·cm-2
Maximum 100MeV Flux:
3.5 pfu
Continued ALTPC0,
SUMPC0
Real with one decimal place and units
1.0 pfu = particles·s-1·ster-1·cm-2
Current 10MeV Flux:
15 pfu
Extended WARPX1,
ALTPXx
Integer and units.
No comma in values, i.e. 1000 not 1,000.
1 pfu = particles·s-1·ster-1·cm-2
Current 100MeV Flux:
1.5 pfu
Extended WARPC0,
ALTPC0
Real with one decimal place and units.
1 pfu = particles·s-1·ster-1·cm-2
Note: There are 3 NOAA Scales: R, G, and S. Each scale has 5 levels which are numbered and named:
1 - Minor, 2 - Moderate, 3 - Strong, 4 - Severe, and 5 -Extreme. See NOAA Scales description.
NOAA Scale:
R2 - Moderate
X-ray alerts and summaries
ALTXMF, SUMXxx

M5 = R2, X1 = R3,
X10 = R4, X20 = R5

NOAA Scale:
G3 or greater - Strong to Extreme
Geomagnetic warnings or extensions
WARK0x

K 5 = G1, K 6 = G2, K 7 >= G3 or greater"

NOAA Scale:
G4 - Severe
Geomagnetic alerts
ALTK0x

K 5 = G1, K 6 = G2, K 7 = G3,
K 8 = G4, K 9 = G5

NOAA Scale:
S3 - Strong
Proton alerts, and summaries
ALTPXx, SUMPXx

Maximum flux reach up to time of alert.
<100pfu = S1, <1,000 pfu = S2,
<10,000 pfu = S3, <100,000 pfu = S4,
>=100,000 pfu = S5

Predicted NOAA Scale:
S3 - Strong
Proton warning
WARPX1

Maximum predicted flux.
<100pfu = S1, <1,000 pfu = S2,
<10,000 pfu = S3, <100,000 pfu = S4,
>=100,000 pfu = S5

Comment:
Text message
Cancellation
(Optional on
all other messages)

Text string, can be multiple lines.

Updated: October 1, 2007