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Space Weather Prediction Center

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Monday, September 25, 2017 09:51:28

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NOAA Scales mini

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Space Weather Conditions
24-Hour Observed Maximums
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Latest Observed
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
S1 or greater --
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
S1 or greater --
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
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Current Space Weather Conditions
R1 (Minor) Radio Blackout Impacts
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HF Radio: Weak or minor degradation of HF radio communication on sunlit side, occasional loss of radio contact.
Navigation: Low-frequency navigation signals degraded for brief intervals.
More about the NOAA Space Weather Scales

New Website Q&A

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New Website Q&A
published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 14:01 UTC

If you have questions about the new website, we likely answer them here. We have reviewed hundreds of submissions in order to assemble a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions. We are not done yet; more will follow in the coming days. So, please, check back often.

Q: Where can I find the files that used to reside under the /ftpdir directory of the legacy website?
A: These files were originally structured for FTP-based distribution from the host ftp.swpc.noaa.gov. Later, the same files were served via the web, but without any fundamental information technology advances. For example, one has to read numerous README files to understand the structure and content of directories. We are evaluating a suitable web-based replacement interface to this trove of files. In the meantime, all of the original files may be found in the same directories on the FTP server. The old web directory www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/ is analogous to the existing FTP location ftp.swpc.noaa.gov/pub/. If requested by your FTP client, the username is ‘anonymous’ and the password is your email address.

Currently, all of the real-time data that underlies the products depicted on this website may be retrieved directly from our data services. Some of our historical products may be obtained from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) archives. All other products are available via the FTP server. In the future, the FTP-based service will be completely replaced by a 100% HTTP-based service currently undergoing review.

Q: Where can I find...?
A: Below are numerous pages and products users have asked us about:

  1. archives (not published by NGDC)
  2. Space Weather Alerts and Warning Timeline plot
  3. D Region Absorption Prediction (D-RAP)
  4. Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity (sgarf.txt)
  5. Solar Cycle including Sunspot Number Progression
  6. ACE Real-Time Solar Wind
  7. F10.7cm Radio Flux Progression
  8. Preliminary Report and Forecast of Solar Geophysical Data (a.k.a. The Weekly)
  9. Space Weather for Aviation Service Providers
  10. Alerts, Watches and Warnings data
  11. Today’s Space Weather or Space Weather Now (replaced by the Space Weather Enthusiasts dashboard)
  12. Daily sunspot information
  13. USAF 45-Day AP and F10.7CM Flux Forecast
  14. GOES X-ray Flux
  15. Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast
  16. Planetary K-index
  17. 30-Minute Aurora Forecast (a.k.a. Ovation)

Q: Where is POES data?
A: POES data and products produced by SWPC are being replaced by improved products at SWPC or have been migrated to the NGDC (National Geophysical Data Center). The replacement products are not identical in format or content to the historical products and may require users to adjust their data and product processing and usage appropriately. In order to facilitate SWPC customers' transition to the new products, we are providing the list of links to the new products below. The current SWPC POES system will be permanently retired January 1, 2015.

The auroral oval and hemispheric power data are generated by the 30-Minute Auroral Forecast model. The main page provides maps depicting estimates of the auroral oval over each pole. The maps can be animated to provide a loop of the past 24 hours. In addition, the following products are available for direct download:

  • Auroral data in gridded text format for both hemispheres: latest text file
  • Hemispheric Power data is available in text format: latest HPI
  • The latest Northern and Southern Hemisphere images (with static file names) are available: Northern, Southern
  • The image frames comprising the Northern and Southern hemisphere loops (with time-tagged file names) are available: Northern, Southern

NGDC now produces radiation belt products including observed POES data (raw counts and calibrated fluxes) along with belt indices.

In addition, SWPC has an experimental 3-Day Auroral Forecast model running as an experimental product. The model is based on forecast Kp. “Experimental” means that it is not supported 24/7.

We are very interested in customer feedback on this transition. Please provide your comments to via the Contact Us page on our new site. Be sure to select “POES Transition” in the subject line.

Q: Where is the solar wind dials interface?
A: This function has been replaced with the combination of the Space Weather Summary Bar (located underneath the NOAA Scales on the homepage) and the plots available on the ACE Real-Time Solar Wind page. The ‘Data’ tab on the ACE Real-Time Solar Wind page details additional sources. We are evaluating adding pressure data to the Space Weather Summary Bar.

Q: Where is the ‘GOES 15 X-Ray Events 1-8A’ data (or table) that used to exist below the GOES X-ray Flux plot?
A: This information will be available on both the new GOES X-ray Flux page and directly from the data service in the next scheduled release. 

Q: Where can I get the NOAA Scales data (displayed on the top of the pages) directly?
A: The underlying data is available as a JSON file from our data service.

Q: Why aren’t old addresses automatically redirected to new ones?
A: SWPC provides forwarding for a number popular pages for which there are new analogous pages. However, experience shows that users often forgo updating their bookmarks when automatic redirection is used. For example, until now, we fielded requests for ‘sec.noaa.gov’. SWPC has not been called the Space Environment Center since 2007. Maintaining these legacy domains places an unnecessary long-term burden on IT staff.

Q: Why does the website display poorly on my [older] device/browser.
A: The website was designed employing modern standards. We do this for a number of important reasons.

  1. Increased extensibility
  2. Increased functionality
  3. Increased usability
  4. Increased maintainability
  5. Decreased development time (and cost)
  6. Decreased down time

The decision to develop employing modern standards was born out of reason as well as necessity. Two of the three most popular browsers used in the United States (Chrome and Firefox) automatically update to the latest version with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer soon to follow. It is simply not feasible for us to support technologies that are no longer supported by their respective developers.

Q: Why doesn’t the Alerts, Watches and Warnings Timeline plot link to the actual messages as before?
A: Although the graphic is still available on the new website, it does not link directly to the associated messages as it did before. We are investigating alternative methods of providing similar functionality.

Q: Where is the page ‘Tips on Viewing the Aurora’ with the Kp maps of midnight equatorward boundaries?
A: The page was overlooked in development and will be republished on the new website soon.

Q: Why change the website at all? Or, put another way, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
A: The legacy website grew organically over the last 20+ years without any significant rearchitecture. It became unruly to maintain, cumbersome to update, frustrating to extend and, frankly, uninspiring to look at--it was broken.

We fully anticipate that some problems will arise with the new website. We’re trying a lot of new concepts but much of it fundamentally remains the same. For example, familiar plots still appear essentially unchanged as they did before, showing the latest image. All new functionality (e.g., animations and lightbox) require user actions in order to activate. We try not to predispose the user’s activities.

Have we missed some things along the way? Definitely. Your constructive feedback is key to our getting it right and we hope that you notice timely positive results.