Validation of Coronal Mass Ejection Arrival-Time Forecasts by Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations based on Interplanetary Scintillation Observations
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) cause various disturbances of the space environment; therefore, forecasting their arrival time is very important. However, forecasting accuracy is hindered by limited CME observations in interplanetary space. This study investigates the accuracy of CME arrival times at the Earth forecasted by three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations based on interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations. In this system, CMEs are approximated as spheromaks with
... as spheromaks with various initial speeds. Ten MHD simulations with different CME initial speed are tested, and the density distributions derived from each simulation run are compared with IPS data observed by the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University. The CME arrival time of the simulation run that most closely agrees with the IPS data is selected as the forecasted time. We then validate the accuracy of this forecast using 12 halo CME events. The average absolute arrival-time error of the IPS-based MHD forecast is approximately 5.0 h, which is one of the most accurate predictions that ever been validated, whereas that of MHD simulations without IPS data, in which the initial CME speed is derived from white-light coronagraph images, is approximately 6.7 h. This suggests that the assimilation of IPS data into MHD simulations can improve the accuracy of CME arrival-time forecasts. The average predicted arrival times are earlier than the actual arrival times. These early predictions may be due to overestimation of the magnetic field included in the spheromak and/or underestimation of the drag force from the background solar wind, the latter of which could be related to underestimation of CME size or background solar wind density.