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A schematic illustration of active space weather regions in the polar cap ionosphere when IMF BZ is north (top row, Kp = 0), and IMF BZ is south (bottom row, Kp = 5). The active regions for creation of polar cap patches/plasma irregularities are shown in yellow color and move under the influence of IMF as indicated with yellow arrows. For IMF BZ north the active region is caused by flow shears near transpolar arcs in the central polar cap, and space weather problems are only expected far north of Svalbard both day (panel a, 0830 UT) and night (panel b, 2030 UT). For IMF BZ south the tongue of ionization (pink) extends into the dayside auroral oval, where magnetic reconnection chops it into polar cap patches (pink) that begin to drift across the polar cap. In the production region there are flow channels and strong flow shears that initiate the growth of ionospheric irregularities. Svalbard will be directly under the production region at daytime (panel c, 0830 UT), and at night Svalbard will see patches arriving from the polar cap (panel d, 2030 UT).
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