By JIM THOMAS -- Soft Serve News, Posted: February 6, 2015

We have enhanced our Aurora Alerts Service to include your local weather and the strength of the Ovation map (in addition to the Kp number).


Since the Aurora happens above the clouds, most people would not want an alert if the sky is 100% blocked by clouds. Now each subscriber can choose the maximum amount of local cloud cover that is acceptable to them.

No more alerts when your local weather is not really suitable for seeing the Aurora.

Aurora Weather Filter


The strength of the Ovation map can be useful in determining if the Aurora is actually visible or not. This is partially because the Ovation model integrates the magnetic orientation of the solar wind (Bz, etc.) which is important in determining if the Aurora is visible.

If the Ovation map looks "strong" (that is, thick with areas of yellow, orange or red) then it is more likely that the Aurora will be visible.

If the map looks "weak" (thin or transparent), then it is less likely to be visible.

There is a number in the right-hand corner of each Ovation map called the Ovation hemispheric power (or Ovation power for short). The bigger the number, the better the Ovation map.

Ovation Hemispheric Power

Here are some samples of Ovation power numbers with their respective maps for North America and for Europe. We’ve added an optional Ovation filter so people can choose a minimum Ovation power number (if they want).

Here's how the alerts will look now:

      In 32 minutes the Kp number should be 4.67 -- Very Active..

      30% cloud cover is forecast for you at that time.

      42 GW Ovation power.

Basically we wanted to improve the signal-to-noise ratio so each alert is not a broadcast but a narrowcast to the individual subscriber's location and their personal preferences.

If you'd like to give Aurora Alerts a try, click here.

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