Seasonal dependence of the "forecast parameter" based on the EIA characteristics for the prediction of Equatorial Spread F (ESF)
Abstract. In an earlier study, Thampi et al. (2006) have shown that the strength and asymmetry of Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA), obtained well ahead of the onset time of Equatorial Spread F (ESF) have a definite role on the subsequent ESF activity, and a new "forecast parameter" has been identified for the prediction of ESF. This paper presents the observations of EIA strength and asymmetry from the Indian longitudes during the period from August 2005–March 2007. These observations are made using the line of sight Total Electron Content (TEC) measured by a ground-based beacon receiver located at Trivandrum (8.5° N, 77° E, 0.5° N dip lat) in India. It is seen that the seasonal variability of EIA strength and asymmetry are manifested in the latitudinal gradients obtained using the relative TEC measurements. As a consequence, the "forecast parameter" also displays a definite seasonal pattern. The seasonal variability of the EIA strength and asymmetry, and the "forecast parameter" are discussed in the present paper and a critical value for has been identified for each month/season. The likely "skill factor" of the new parameter is assessed using the data for a total of 122 days, and it is seen that when the estimated value of the "forecast parameter" exceeds the critical value, the ESF is seen to occur on more than 95% of cases.