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Notice of Availability of and Request for Public Comment on Space Weather Phase 1 Benchmarks

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National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.


Notice of availability of Space Weather Phase 1 Benchmarks and request for public comment.


The National Weather Service on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council; Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Start Printed Page 7802Sustainability; Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation Subcommittee announces the availability of and requests public comments on the draft 2017 Space Weather Phase 1 Benchmarks (Draft Benchmarks).


Comments must be received by March 20, 2017 to be considered.


You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Email: Include [Space Weather Phase 1 Benchmarks] in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (301) 713-7144, Attn: Michael Bonadonna.
  • Mail: Attn: Michael Bonadonna, Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology, 1325 East-West Highway (SSMC2), Suite 7130, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Instructions: The Draft Benchmarks are available for download at​publications/​spacewx/​DRAFT_​SWx_​Phase_​1_​Benchmarks.pdf. Response to this request for public comment is voluntary. Responses exceeding 2,000 words will not be considered; please reference page and line numbers of the Draft Benchmarks in your response, as appropriate. Please be aware that your comments may be posted online. The NOAA National Weather Service therefore requests that no business proprietary information, copyrighted information, confidential, or personally identifiable information be submitted in response to this request. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response preparation or for the use of any information contained in the response.

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For more information on the Draft Benchmarks, contact Michael Bonadonna, (301) 628-0058,, Office of the Federal Coordinator of Meteorology.

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Space weather refers to the dynamic conditions of the space environment that arise from interactions with emissions from the sun, including solar flares, solar energetic particles, and coronal mass ejections. These emissions can affect Earth and its surrounding space, potentially causing disruption to electric power transmission; satellite, aircraft, and spacecraft operations; telecommunications; position, navigation, and timing services; and other technology and infrastructure. Given the growing importance and reliance of the Nation on these services and infrastructures, it is critical that the Nation prepare for the effects of space weather events.

In October 2016, the Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation (SWORM) Subcommittee was established by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability, pursuant to Executive Order 13744 on Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events. The Executive Order directed the SWORM Subcommittee to coordinate the implementation of the activities specified in the 2015 National Space Weather Action Plan, among them the development of space weather benchmarks, sets of physical characteristics and conditions against which a space-weather event can be measured. The Phase 1 benchmarks were developed by the interagency through a quick-turnaround analysis, using existing data sets and studies where available, whereas Phase 2 benchmarks will be developed through more rigorous analyses. This notice solicits public input on a draft of the Phase 1 benchmarks to inform their completion and the development of the Phase 2 benchmarks.

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Dated: January 17, 2016.

Louis Uccellini,


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[FR Doc. 2017-01333 Filed 1-19-17; 8:45 am]