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Authors: Pietrella, M. 
Title: Short-term forecasting regional model to predict M(3000)F2 over the European sector: Comparisons with the IRI model during moderate, disturbed, and very disturbed geomagnetic conditions
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2014
Series/Report no.: 2/54(2014)
DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2014.03.018
Keywords: Ionospheric disturbances
Modelling and forecasting
Geomagnetic activity
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.02. Ionosphere::01.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The hourly measurements of M(3000)F2 (M(3000)F2meas) and the hourly quiet-time values of M(3000)F2 (M(3000)F2QT) relative to the ionospheric observatories of Poitiers, Lannion, Dourbes, Slough, Rome, Juliusruh, Kaliningrad, Uppsala, Lyckesele, Sodankyla, and Kiruna as well as the hourly time-weighted accumulation series derived from the geomagnetic planetary index ap (ap(s)), were considered during the period January 1957–December 2003 and used for the development of 11 short-term forecasting local models (STFLM) of M(3000)F2. Under the assumption that the ionospheric disturbance index ln(M(3000)F2meas/M(3000)F2QT) is correlated to the integrated geomagnetic index ap(s), a set of regression coefficients were established over 12 months and 24 h for each of the 11 observatories under consideration and used as input to calculate the short-term ionospheric forecasting of M(3000)F2 for three different ranges of geomagnetic activity. The 11 short-term forecasting local models all together constitute a single short-term forecasting regional model (STFRM) of M(3000)F2. The monthly median predictions of M(3000)F2 provided by the IRI model at the 11 local stations were used to make some comparisons with the predictions of M(3000)F2 carried out by the STFRM. The results showed that: (1) under moderate geomagnetic activity there are no significantly differences between STFRM and IRI performance because quiet geomagnetic conditions are not so diverse from moderate geomagnetic conditions; (2) under disturbed geomagnetic activity, performances of STFRM significantly better than IRI emerge only in some cases; (3) the STFRM’s performances are always significantly better than those provided by IRI under very disturbed geomagnetic activity, consequently the operative use of the STFRM could be valuable in providing short-term forecasting maps of M(3000)F2 over the European area during very disturbed geomagnetic conditions.
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