Are magnetic storms qualitatively different than magnetospheric substorms? Are the magnetospheric processes that cause a sub-storm fundamentally different from those that cause a storm? The National Geophysical Data Center and the Space Environment Laboratory hosted a workshop in Breckenridge, Colo., in June 1993 to discuss these questions and to investigate the relationship between magnetic storms and magnetospheric substorms.
Magnetic storms have not received the same amount of attention as substorms for the last several years due to a number of factors; there has been a stronger emphasis toward the “simpler” substorm phenomenology, the complexity of storm phenomena has deterred analysis, and the lack of appropriate data and incomplete data coverage in space and time has made analysis difficult. Continuing an effort begun at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, in November 1991, twelve of us met to seek the answers, or, at least, to ask the pertinent questions. Each of us brought experience on different pieces of the puzzle; the solar wind, magnetospheric and ionospheric plasmas and fields, and geomagnetic variations.