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NOAA Needs Help Predicting The New Magnetic North

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January 25, 2021

NOAA is offering $30,000 in prizes to citizens who can help them better forecast changes in Earth’s magnetic field. The efficient transfer of energy from solar wind into the Earth’s magnetic field causes geomagnetic storms and increases errors in magnetic navigation.

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As a key specification of the magnetospheric dynamics, the Dst (disturbance-storm-time index) index is used to drive geomagnetic disturbance models such as NOAA/NCEI’s High Definition Geomagnetic Model – Real-Time (HDGM-RT). Additionally, magnetic surveyors, government agencies, academic institutions, satellite operators, and power grid operators use the Dst index to analyze the strength and duration of geomagnetic storms.

Contest participants will be asked to build a model that can predict Dst in real-time for both the current hour and the next hour. For example, if the current timestep is 10:00 am, you are must predict Dst for both 10:00 am and 11:00 am using data up until but not including 10:00 am.

Finalists will be determined by performance on the private test set. These participants will then have the opportunity to submit their code to be audited using an out-of-sample verification set. The top 4 eligible teams that pass this final check will share $30,000 in cash prizes.

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