The Wing Kp model uses solar wind data to produce both a 1-hour and a 4-hour advance prediction of the level of geomagnetic activity, as represented by the planetary K-index, every 15 minutes. The Kp index represents the level of geomagnetic activity on a scale ranging from 0 to 9.
NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms is based on the Kp index. Geomagnetic activity can affect communications, navigation systems, satellite health, the power grids, and space travel
Geomagnetic activity can affect communications, navigation systems, satellite health, power grids, and space travel. Kp is one of the most common indices used to indicate the severity of the global magnetic disturbances in near-Earth space. Predictions update every 15 minutes. Magnetically active times, e.g., Kp > 5, are notoriously difficult to predict, precisely the times when such predictions are crucial to the space weather users. Taking advantage of the routinely available solar wind measurements at the Lagrangian point (L1) and the nowcast of Kps, Kp forecast models based on neural networks were developed with a focus on improving the forecast for active times.
12-hour and 24-hour Plot Description
These plots show the latest predicted planetary geomagnetic activity index (Kp) from the U. S. Air Force Weather Agency Wing Kp model. The plots are of 1-hour and 4-hour Kp predictions, along with the observed Estimated Kp. 1-hour predictions are plotted with green filled-in circles, 4-hour predictions are plotted in green plus (+) symbols, and the solid blue line is the observed Estimated Kp index. The solid horizontal green bars show the 3-hour interval over which the latest predictions are valid. Vertical error bars are plotted in green to show the 50% confidence interval.
Prediction points are plotted at the model valid time (run time + propagation time), which is usually 60 minutes into the future for the 1-hour prediction and 240 minutes into the future for the 4-hour prediction. The dashed red line indicates the lowest alert level, G1 (minor), on the NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms.
Missing Kp values or model output indicates the data are not available at SWPC.
7-Day Model Performance Plot Description
The 7-day Model Performance plot shows the latest Wing Kp model output over the past 7 days with statistical characterizations.
The plot shows the magnitude of the predicted Kp index. The model provides two predictions:
- 1-hour prediction, plotted with filled-in circles
- 4-hour prediction, plotted in plus (+) symbols
The predictions are plotted in green. The solid blue line is the observed USAF Estimated Kp Index. Simple statistics are given at the top of the plot for the 1-hour model that characterize the model's performance in terms of accuracy (rms error), bias (mean error), association (correlation), and skill or prediction efficiency (relative error).
For further information see: Kp Forecast Models, Wing, Simon (2005) et al, J. Geophy. Res, Vol 110, A04203, doi:10.1029/2004JA010500.
June 2016: Wing Kp Model Temporarily Unavailable
The USAF, which provides Wing Kp output data to SWPC for public dissemination, is currently unable to run the model. Until the issues underlying this problem are resolved, the Wing Kp data will not appear on SWPC’s web site or in it’s data service. We currently do not have an estimated time regarding the resolution of this problem. (NOTE: Wing Kp was restored to operation on June 3.)
Modified Wing Kp model output was deployed on November 3, 2015 as SWPC prepares to transition its primary source of solar wind data from ACE to DSCOVR. The "Lead Time" panel was removed from the bottom of the Wing Kp model graphics. Similarly, the Wing Kp model ASCII output no longer contains columns of data indicating Lead Time. A new Solar Wind Transit Time graphic, developed for DSCOVR, but currently using ACE data, is available in prototype. ASCII lead time data is available as well.
Taking advantage of the routinely available solar wind measurements at Lagrangian point (L1) and nowcast Kp estimates, Kp forecast models based on neural networks were developed with the focus on improving the forecast during geomagnetic storms.The Wing Kp model was transitioned into operations in March, 2011 as a replacement for the Costello Kp prediction model.
For more information see: Kp Forecast Models, Wing, Simon (2005) et al, J. Geophy. Res, Vol 110, A04203, doi:10.1029/2004JA010500.
Model output from the last seven days is available in ascii format from SWPC and via anonymous ftp.
Note: As of November 3, 2015 Wing Kp model ASCII output no longer contains columns of data indicating Lead Time. ASCII lead time data is available from a prototype product developed for DSCOVR, but currently running with ACE data.