A technique for short‐term warning of solar energetic particle events based on flare location, flare size, and evidence of particle escape

Author: M. Laurenza, E. W. Cliver, J. Hewitt, M. Storini, Alan G. Ling, C. C. Balch and M. L. Kaiser
Date: 
April 30, 2009
Type: 
Journal Article
Venue: 
Space Weather
Citation: 

Laurenza, M., E. W. Cliver, J. Hewitt, M. Storini, A. G. Ling, C. C. Balch, and M. L. Kaiser (2009), A technique for short‐term warning of solar energetic particle events based on flare location, flare size, and evidence of particle escape, Space Weather, 7, S04008, doi:10.1029/2007SW000379.

We have developed a technique to provide short‐term warnings of solar energetic proton (SEP) events that meet or exceed the Space Weather Prediction Center threshold of J (>10 MeV) = 10 pr cm−2 s−1 sr−1. The method is based on flare location, flare size, and evidence of particle acceleration/escape as parameterized by flare longitude, time‐integrated soft X‐ray intensity, and time‐integrated intensity of type III radio emission at ∼1 MHz, respectively. In this technique, warnings are issued 10 min after the maximum of ≥M2 soft X‐ray flares. For the solar cycle 23 (1995–2005) data on which it was developed, the method has a probability of detection of 63% (47/75), a false alarm rate of 42% (34/81), and a median warning time of ∼55 min for the 19 events successfully predicted by our technique for which SEP event onset times were provided by Posner (2007). These measures meet or exceed verification results for competing automated SEP warning techniques but, at the present stage of space weather forecasting, fall well short of those achieved with a human (aided by techniques such as ours) making the ultimate yes/no SEP event prediction. We give some suggestions as to how our method could be improved and provide our flare and SEP event database in the auxiliary material to facilitate quantitative comparisons with techniques developed in the future.