Forecast Scales Categories

Three categories of descriptive scales for spaces weather that are most relevant to the possible effect on satellite-based and other systems are:

   Geomagnetic Storms  

   Disturbances in the geomagnetic field caused by gusts in solar wind that blows by earth.

   Solar Radiation Storms  

   Elevated levels of radiation that occur when the numbers of energetic particles increase.

   Radio Blackout  

   Disturbances of the ionosphere caused by X-ray emission from the Sun.


The scales were introduced as a way to communicate to the general public the current and future space weather conditions and their possible effects on people and systems. The scales describe the environmental disturbances for three event types which are geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts. The scales have numbered levels, analogous to hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes that convey severity. They list possible effects at each level. They also show how often such events happen, and give a measure of the intensity of the physical causes. The NOAA Space Weather Scales tables are shown as in the link given: