Articles | Volume 30, issue 6
Regular paper
12 Jun 2012
Regular paper |  | 12 Jun 2012

Estimating the geoeffectiveness of halo CMEs from associated solar and IP parameters using neural networks

J. Uwamahoro, L. A. McKinnell, and J. B. Habarulema

Abstract. Estimating the geoeffectiveness of solar events is of significant importance for space weather modelling and prediction. This paper describes the development of a neural network-based model for estimating the probability occurrence of geomagnetic storms following halo coronal mass ejection (CME) and related interplanetary (IP) events. This model incorporates both solar and IP variable inputs that characterize geoeffective halo CMEs. Solar inputs include numeric values of the halo CME angular width (AW), the CME speed (Vcme), and the comprehensive flare index (cfi), which represents the flaring activity associated with halo CMEs. IP parameters used as inputs are the numeric peak values of the solar wind speed (Vsw) and the southward Z-component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) or Bs. IP inputs were considered within a 5-day time window after a halo CME eruption. The neural network (NN) model training and testing data sets were constructed based on 1202 halo CMEs (both full and partial halo and their properties) observed between 1997 and 2006. The performance of the developed NN model was tested using a validation data set (not part of the training data set) covering the years 2000 and 2005. Under the condition of halo CME occurrence, this model could capture 100% of the subsequent intense geomagnetic storms (Dst ≤ −100 nT). For moderate storms (−100 < Dst ≤ −50), the model is successful up to 75%. This model's estimate of the storm occurrence rate from halo CMEs is estimated at a probability of 86%.