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CMEs and SEPs During November-December 2020: A Challenge for Real-Time Space Weather Forecasting

Palmerio, Erika and Lee, Christina O. and Mays, M. Leila and Luhmann, Janet G. and Lario, David and Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz and Richardson, Ian G. and Vainio, Rami and Stevens, Michael L. and Cohen, Christina M. S. and Steinvall, Konrad and Möstl, Christian and Weiss, Andreas J. and Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa and Li, Yan and Larson, Davin E. and Heyner, Daniel and Bale, Stuart D. and Galvin, Antoinette B. and Holmström, Mats and Khotyaintsev, Yuri V. and Maksimovic, Milan and Mitrofanov, Igor G. (2022) CMEs and SEPs During November-December 2020: A Challenge for Real-Time Space Weather Forecasting. Space Weather, 20 (5). Art. No. e2021SW002993. ISSN 1542-7390. doi:10.1029/2021sw002993.

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Predictions of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) are a central issue in space weather forecasting. In recent years, interest in space weather predictions has expanded to include impacts at other planets beyond Earth as well as spacecraft scattered throughout the heliosphere. In this sense, the scope of space weather science now encompasses the whole heliospheric system, and multipoint measurements of solar transients can provide useful insights and validations for prediction models. In this work, we aim to analyze the whole inner heliospheric context between two eruptive flares that took place in late 2020, that is, the M4.4 flare of 29 November and the C7.4 flare of 7 December. This period is especially interesting because the STEREO-A spacecraft was located ∼60° east of the Sun–Earth line, giving us the opportunity to test the capabilities of “predictions at 360°” using remote-sensing observations from the Lagrange L1 and L5 points as input. We simulate the CMEs that were ejected during our period of interest and the SEPs accelerated by their shocks using the WSA-Enlil-SEPMOD modeling chain and four sets of input parameters, forming a “mini-ensemble.” We validate our results using in situ observations at six locations, including Earth and Mars. We find that, despite some limitations arising from the models' architecture and assumptions, CMEs and shock-accelerated SEPs can be reasonably studied and forecast in real time at least out to several tens of degrees away from the eruption site using the prediction tools employed here.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemGoddard Space Flight Center Community Coordinated Modeling Center ItemCME1 ItemCME2 ItemCME3 ItemCME4 ItemCME5 ItemRun1: - Enlil ItemSEPMOD (GOES-like) ItemSEPMOD (IMP8-like) ItemRun2: - Enlil ItemSEPMOD (GOES-like) ItemSEPMOD (IMP8-like) ItemRun3: - Enlil ItemSEPMOD (GOES-like) ItemSEPMOD (IMP8-like) ItemRun4: - Enlil ItemSEPMOD (GOES-like) ItemSEPMOD (IMP8-like) ItemVirtual Solar Observatory ItemNASA Coordinated Data Analysis Web database ItemNASA Planetary Data System ItemESA Planetary Science Archive ItemNASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node ItemSOHO/Energetic and Relativistic Nuclei and Electron (ERNE) data ItemESA Solar Orbiter (SolO) Archive
Palmerio, Erika0000-0001-6590-3479
Lee, Christina O.0000-0002-1604-3326
Mays, M. Leila0000-0001-9177-8405
Luhmann, Janet G.0000-0003-0626-9353
Lario, David0000-0002-3176-8704
Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz0000-0003-0277-3253
Richardson, Ian G.0000-0002-3855-3634
Vainio, Rami0000-0002-3298-2067
Stevens, Michael L.0000-0002-7728-0085
Cohen, Christina M. S.0000-0002-0978-8127
Steinvall, Konrad0000-0002-5861-1643
Möstl, Christian0000-0001-6868-4152
Weiss, Andreas J.0000-0002-6273-4320
Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa0000-0003-0565-4890
Li, Yan0000-0003-4112-3122
Larson, Davin E.0000-0001-5030-6030
Heyner, Daniel0000-0001-7894-8246
Bale, Stuart D.0000-0002-1989-3596
Galvin, Antoinette B.0000-0003-3752-5700
Holmström, Mats0000-0001-5494-5374
Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.0000-0001-5550-3113
Maksimovic, Milan0000-0001-6172-5062
Mitrofanov, Igor G.0000-0001-7204-2101
Additional Information:© 2022. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 27 April 2022; Version of Record online: 27 April 2022; Accepted manuscript online: 08 April 2022; Manuscript accepted: 28 March 2022; Manuscript revised: 16 March 2022; Manuscript received: 30 November 2021. E. Palmerio's research was supported by the NASA Living With a Star (LWS) Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, administered by UCAR's Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science under award no. NNX16AK22G. C. O. Lee acknowledges support from the NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Project subcontract via Grant Nos. NNH10CC04C, managed by the University of Colorado. C. O. Lee and J. G. Luhmann acknowledge support from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) Project via the STEREO/In situ Measurements of Particles And CME Transients (IMPACT) grant to UC Berkeley. D. Lario and I. G. Richardson acknowledge support from the NASA LWS programs NNH17ZDA001N-LWS and NNH19ZDA001N-LWS, as well as the Goddard Space Flight Center Heliophysics Innovation Fund program. B. Sánchez-Cano acknowledges support through UK-STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship ST/V004115/1 and STFC Grants ST/S000429/1 and ST/V000209/1. K. Steinvall and Y. V. Khotyaintsev acknowledge support from the Swedish Research Council, Grant 2016-05507, and the Swedish National Space Agency, Grant 20/136. C. Möstl and A. J. Weiss thank the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P31521-N27, P31659-N27. The Wang-Sheeley-Arge (WSA) model was developed by C. N. Arge (currently at NASA/GSFC), the Enlil model was developed by D. Odstrcil (currently at GMU), and the SEPMOD model was developed by J. Luhmann (currently at UCB). Finally, the authors thank the Mission Teams of all the spacecraft and instruments employed in this study. This work was supported by the NASA's Parker Solar Probe Mission, Contract No. NNN06AA01C. Parker Solar Probe was designed, built, and is now operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as part of NASA's LWS program. Data Availability Statement: Simulation results have been provided by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at Goddard Space Flight Center through their public Runs on Request system ( DONKI runs used in this study: CME1: CME2: CME3: CME4: CME5: Wang-Sheeley-Arge-Enlil-SEPMOD runs performed in this study: Run1: - Enlil: - SEPMOD (GOES-like): - SEPMOD (IMP8-like): Run2: - Enlil: - SEPMOD (GOES-like): - SEPMOD (IMP8-like): Run3: - Enlil: - SEPMOD (GOES-like): - SEPMOD (IMP8-like): Run4: - Enlil: - SEPMOD (GOES-like): - SEPMOD (IMP8-like): Remote-sensing data from Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) are openly available at the Virtual Solar Observatory ( These data were processed and analyzed through SunPy (SunPy Community et al., 2020), IDL SolarSoft (Freeland & Handy, 1998), and the European Space Agency (ESA) JHelioviewer software (Müller et al., 2017). Parker Solar Probe (PSP), STEREO, Wind, and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) in situ data are publicly available at NASA's Coordinated Data Analysis Web database ( Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) data can be accessed at the Planetary Plasma Interactions Node of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS; Mars Express (MEX) data are stored at ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA; Mars Odyssey (MOdy) data are available at the Geosciences Node of the PDS ( SOHO particle data can be downloaded from the SOHO/Energetic and Relativistic Nuclei and Electron (ERNE) webpage ( The BepiColombo data used in this study are stored at, and the full mission data set will be released in the future at ESA's PSA. Solar Orbiter (SolO) data are openly available at ESA's SolO Archive (
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramNNX16AK22G
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/V004115/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/S000429/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/V000209/1
Swedish Research Council2016-05507
Swedish National Space Agency20/136
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP31521-N27
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP31659-N27
Subject Keywords:coronal mass ejections; solar energetic particles; space weather forecasts; MHD models; inner heliosphere; solar wind
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220414-26083000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Palmerio, E., Lee, C. O., Mays, M. L., Luhmann, J. G., Lario, D., Sánchez-Cano, B., et al. (2022). CMEs and SEPs during November-December 2020: A challenge for real-time space weather forecasting. Space Weather, 20, e2021SW002993.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114296
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:19 Apr 2022 22:18
Last Modified:11 May 2022 22:12

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