Real-Time SWMF at CCMC: Assessing the Dst Output From Continuous Operational Simulations

Mike Liemohn, Natalia Yu Ganushkina, Darren L. De Zeeuw, Lutz Rastaetter, Maria Kuznetsova, Daniel T. Welling, Gabor Toth, Raluca Ilie, Tamas I. Gombosi, Bart van der Holst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ground-based magnetometer index of Dst is a commonly used measure of near-Earth current systems, in particular the storm time inner magnetospheric current systems. The ability of a large-scale, physics-based model to reproduce, or even predict, this index is therefore a tangible measure of the overall validity of the code for space weather research and space weather operational usage. Experimental real-time simulations of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) are conducted at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC). Presently, two configurations of the SWMF are running in real time at CCMC, both focusing on the geospace modules, using the Block Adaptive Tree Solar wind-type Roe Upwind Solver magnetohydrodynamic model, the Ridley Ionosphere Model, and with and without the Rice Convection Model. While both have been running for several years, nearly continuous results are available since April 2015. A 27-month interval through July 2017 is used for a quantitative assessment of Dst from the model output compared against the Kyoto real-time Dst. Quantitative measures are presented to assess the goodness of fit including contingency tables and a receiver operating characteristic curve. It is shown that the SWMF run with the inner magnetosphere model is much better at reproducing storm time values, with a correlation coefficient of 0.69, a prediction efficiency of 0.41, and Heidke skill score of 0.57 (for a −50-nT threshold). A comparison of real-time runs with and without the inner magnetospheric drift physics model reveals that nearly all of the storm time Dst signature is from current systems related to kinetic processes on closed magnetic field lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1603
Number of pages21
JournalSpace Weather
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • nowcasting
  • space weather modeling
  • storm simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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