AMS Short Course on Space Weather: Space Weather: What is it and who needs to know about it?

Sunday, 22 January, Starting at 8:30A.M., Room 244

The AMS Space Weather Short Course: What is it and who needs to know about it?, will be held on 22 January 2012 preceding the 92nd AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Attendees will receive a copy of “The Sun, The Earth and Near-Earth Space:  A Guide to the Sun-Earth System,” by John A. Eddy

Space weather affects many aspects of modern society. Professionals in the atmospheric science disciplines will benefit from understanding its sources and how it affects national infrastructure and aspects of daily life. Radio frequency communications, high-flying airliners, and national power grids are a few of the high-tech systems affected by space weather phenomena. Local and national planners, as well as system designers must account for the possible disruptions and interference caused by electromagnetic waves and charged particles spewing from our Sun and arriving from deep space daily. Common system elements such as Global Positioning System receivers and cell phones react to some solar emissions, degrading service for a time.

The short course will describe the sources of space weather disturbances (solar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles, ionospheric storms) and their potential to disrupt regional and global systems. It will describe the developing models at NOAA’s National Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), the federal agency charged with warning the public of potentially damaging space weather events. It will also cover concepts relating space weather to terrestrial weather.

The goal of the course is to provide sufficient background information be able to: Define space weather; know the primary sources of space weather and which regions of Earth’s atmosphere and geospace are affected by space weather; know the characteristics times of space weather disturbances; be able to describe which systems and signals are affected by space weather disturbances and be able to link these to the NOAA Space Weather Scales; be able to read NOAA SWPC forecast and warnings; describe links between terrestrial and space weather.

The target audience is meteorologists who potentially receive, use and convey space weather information to the public, and or, their clients. This course will be presented as “101 level” offering geared toward (a) an audience of meteorologists who are seeking a background in space weather phenomena and impacts; (b) government and academic meteorologists whose work extends to the upper atmosphere. Undergraduate and graduate students wishing to learn more about space weather and seeking to enter the discipline are also encouraged to attend.

The course consists of one day of interactive lectures. The course will be instructed by experts drawn from academia, and national research organizations and operational agencies.

Prof Delores Knipp, University of Colorado is organizing the course. She will be joined by: Bob Rutledge Chief Forecaster, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Dean Pesnell of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Anthea Coster, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Haystack Observatory, Neal Zapp, NASA Space Radiation Analysis Group, Maura Hagan and Stan Solomon National Center for Atmospheric Research and McArthur Jones, Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. "Hands-on" material will be provided in class

Attendees will benefit from viewing the UCAR COMET material on space weather basics before the short course. This material introduces vocabulary unique to space weather and space environment. Space Weather Basics (You may need to create an account with COMET if you are new to the system).

Attendees will receive a copy of “The Sun, The Earth and Near-Earth Space:  A Guide to the Sun-Earth System,” by John A. Eddy

Pre-registered AMS student members may be eligible for a course fee waiver (funds are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis). Students should send a statement of interest along with an advisor's statement of support to

For more information please contact Delores Knipp at CU Aerospace Engineering, 626 Engineering Center Office Tower, 429 UCB, Boulder, CO 80909 (email: (8/11)