Empirical regional models for the short-term forecast of M3000F2 during not quiet geomagnetic conditions over Europe
Twelve empirical local models have been developed for the long-term prediction of the ionospheric characteristic
M3000F2, and then used as starting point for the development of a short-term forecasting empirical regional model of
M3000F2 under not quiet geomagnetic conditions. Under the assumption that the monthly median measurements of
M3000F2 are linearly correlated to the solar activity, a set of regression coefficients were calculated over 12 months and 24 h for each of 12 ionospheric observatories located in the European area, and then used for the long-term prediction of
M3000F2 at each station under consideration.
Based on the 12 long-term prediction empirical local models of M3000F2, an empirical regional model for the prediction of the monthly median field of M3000F2 over Europe (indicated as RM_M3000F2) was developed.
Thanks to the IFELM_foF2 models, which are able to provide short-term forecasts of the critical frequency of the F2 layer ( foF2 STF) up to three hours in advance, it was possible to considerer the Brudley–Dudeney algorithm as a function of foF2 STF to correct RM_M3000F2 and thus obtain an empirical regional model for the short-term forecasting of M3000F2 (indicated as RM_M3000F2_BD) up to three hours in advance under not quiet geomagnetic conditions.
From the long-term predictions of M3000F2 provided by the IRI model, an empirical regional model for the forecast of the monthly median field of M3000F2 over Europe (indicated as IRI_RM_M3000F2) was derived.
IRI_RM_M3000F2 predictions were modified with the Bradley–Dudeney correction factor, and another empirical regional model for the short-term forecasting of M3000F2 (indicated as IRI_RM_M3000F2_BD) up to three hours ahead under not quiet geomagnetic conditions was obtained.
The main results achieved comparing the performance of RM_M3000F2, RM_M3000F2_BD, IRI_RM_M3000F2, and IRI_RM_M3000F2_BD are (1) in the case of moderate geomagnetic activity, the Bradley–Dudeney correction factor does not improve significantly the predictions; (2) under disturbed geomagnetic conditions, the Bradley–Dudeney formula improves the predictions of RM_M3000F2 in the entire European area; (3) in the case of very disturbed geomagnetic conditions, the Bradley–Dudeney algorithm is very effective in improving the performance of IRI_RM_M3000F2; (4) under moderate geomagnetic conditions, the long-term prediction maps of M3000F2 generated by RM_M3000F2 can be considered as short-term forecasting maps providing very satisfactory results because quiet geomagnetic conditions are not so diverse from moderate geomagnetic conditions; (5) the forecasting maps originated by RM_M3000F2, RM_M3000F2_BD, and IRI_RM_M3000F2_BD show some regions where the forecasts are not satisfactory, but also wide sectors where the M3000F2 forecasts quite faithfully match the M3000F2 observations, and therefore RM_M3000F2, RM_M3000F2_BD, and IRI_RM_M3000F2_BD could be exploited to produce short-term forecasting maps of M3000F2 over Europe up to 3 h in advance.