Overview of midlatitude ionospheric storms



Solar flares and coronal mass ejections erupting from the roiling Sun can smash into the Earth's magnetosphere causing geomagnetic storms that penetrate deep into the atmosphere, which can short out satellites, upset radio communications, disrupt navigation, and even damage terrestrial electrical power grids. Though effects on other regions of the atmosphere have been analyzed, the mechanism by which geomagnetic storms influence the ionosphere's middle latitudes remains poorly understood.

This brief report provides an overview of current knowledge in midlatitude ionospheric dynamics and disturbances, from the historic record to recent discoveries presented at a January AGU Chapman Conference.