Validation of Ionospheric Specifications During Geomagnetic Storms: TEC and foF2 during the 2013 March Storm Event

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

To address challenges of assessing capabilities of space weather modeling, the CCMC (Community Coordinated Modeling Center) is leading a newly established “International Forum for Space Weather Modeling Capabilities Assessment.”

A depiction of scatter plots of Geomagnetic storms
Scatter plots of the observed (x-axis) and modeled (y-axis) shifted foF2 (foF2* in the 1st and 3rd columns) and percentage change of foF2 (dfoF2[%] in the 2nd and 4th columns) during the storm (03/17/2013) for all 12 locations: North American sector (NA, denoted in green), European sector (EU, blue), South Africa (SAF, red), and South America (SAM, black.)

This paper presents preliminary results of validation of modeled foF2 and TEC (Total Electron Content) during the first selected 2013 March storm event (17-18 Mar., 2013). In this study, we used eight ionospheric models ranging from empirical to physics-based, coupled ionosphere-thermosphere and data assimilation models. The quantities we considered are TEC and foF2 changes and percentage changes compared to quiet-time background, and the maximum and minimum percentage changes. In addition, we considered normalized percentage changes of TEC. We compared the modeled quantities with ground-based observations of vertical GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) TEC (provided by MIT Haystack Observatory) and foF2 data (provided by GIRO, Global Ionospheric Radio Observatory) at the 12 locations selected in middle latitudes of the American and European-African longitude sectors. To quantitatively evaluate the models’ performance, we calculated skill scores including Correlation Coefficient (CC), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), ratio of the modeled to observed maximum percentage changes (Yield), and Timing Error. Our study indicates that average RMSEs of foF2 range from about 1 MHz to 1.5 MHz. The average RMSEs of TEC are between ~5 TECU and ~10 TECU. dfoF2[%] RMSEs are between 15 % and 25 %, which is smaller than RMSE of dTEC[%] ranging from 30% to 60 %. The performance of the models varies with the location and metrics considered.

Publication Name: Space Weather

First HAO Author's Name: Stanley C. Solomon