Space Weather

Your will find links to pages for the newest information and prediction for space weather and for shortwave propagation.

Current Propagation


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  Collection of propagation information gathered from many different sources
      (SFI, k, A, Solar Wind, Solar Flares, NOAA Sunspot #, GOES X-Ray Flux, MUF, Aurora, etc.)

Real Time Infomation collected  from Space Weather Prediction Center:
(to get the latest information, don't forget to refresh the page)


3-Day Space Weather Forecast and Forecast Discussion



Solar X-Ray Flux

The GOES x-ray plots shown here are used to track solar activity and solar flares. Large solar x-ray flares
can change the Earth’s ionosphere, which blocks high-frequency (HF) radio transmissions on the sunlit
side of the Earth.
Solar flares are also associated with Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) which can ultimately lead to
geomagnetic storms. SWPC sends out space weather alerts at the M5 (5x10-5 Watts/mw) level.

Some large flares are accompanied by strong radio bursts that may interfere with other radio frequencies
and cause problems for satellite communication and radio navigation (GPS).


D Region  Absorption Prediction

The D-Region Absorption Product addresses the operational impact of the solar X-ray flux and SEP
events on HF radio communication.
Long-range communications using high frequency (HF) radio waves (3 - 30 MHz) depend on reflection
of the signals in the ionosphere. Radio waves are typically reflected near the peak of the F2 layer
(~300 km altitude), but along the path to the F2 peak and back the radio wave signal suffers
attenuation due to absorption by the intervening ionosphere.

The D-Region Absorption Prediction model is used as guidance to understand the HF radio
degradation and blackouts this can cause.


GOES Solar X-Ray Imager

X-ray photons travel at the speed of light and are the first indication we receive at Earth of solar
magnetic eruptions and the associated flares.
These flare related X-rays cause changes to the Earth’s ionosphere and can result in significant
degradation of radio communications, including complete black outs at some frequencies, beginning
only 8 minutes (time for light to travel from the Sun to Earth) after a flare. 



ACE Real Time Solar Wind

The NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite enables SWPC to give advance
warning of geomagnetic storms.
Geomagnetic storms are a natural hazard, like hurricanes and tsunamis, which the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)
forecasts for the public's benefit. Geomagnetic storms impact the electric power grid, aircraft
operations, GPS, manned spaceflight, and satellite operations, to name some of the most damaging.

Severe geomagnetic storms can result in electric utility blackouts over a wide area.

The location of ACE at the L1 libration point between the Earth and the Sun, about 1,500,000 km
forward of Earth, enables ACE to give up to one hour advance warning of the arrival of damaging
space weather events at Earth. SWPC issues warnings of imminent geomagnetic storms using these data.



Solar Visible Light

Relation to Propagation Conditions

k 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A 0 3 7 15 27 48 80 140 240 400



very good





minor storm


major, severe storm

very bad

Table 3.3 - Radio Blackouts

Peak x-ray level and flux

Radio Blackout level

M1 and (10-5)


M5 and (5 x 10-5)


X1 and (10-4)


X10 and (10-3)


X20 and (2 x 10-3)