The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 69 in the Fall of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number has already reached 67 (in February 2012)due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high and this late. We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906....click source to read FULL report (Note: This forecast will change each month)
CLICK to see ALL forecasts on Solar Cycle 24 from David Hathaway and NASA made so far, they all point to a very low average Sunspot number and the peak being in the fall of this year, time will tell if this forecast is correct....more to follow
The New Year brings dreams of solar cycles of old, so distant now, sweetly remembered for their profusion of sunspots. We hear many times from operators who became licensed as teenagers at the peak of Solar Cycle 19, in the late 1950s, when a few watts and a modest radiator on 10 meters could span the globe every day and night.
Solar Cycle 21 peaked around 1980, and was quite an improvement over the last cycle, as was Solar Cycle 22, which looked a lot like Solar Cycle 21. Cycle 22 peaked around 1991-1992, with a more pronounced double peak. The formerly teenaged ham was now solidly into middle age, and still wondering if sunspot activity would ever roar back to the levels of the late 1950s.
Solar Cycle 23 was another double peak, but significantly lower in 2000, 2001 and 2002 than the previous cycle, perhaps disappointing the middle-aged ham, who then sees solar activity slide into a long and low minimum over the next decade, in a way that was impossible to imagine as a teenaged ham enjoying Solar Cycle 19. The 160 meter operators -- quite happy in this situation with a much quieter Sun -- have no such longing for the active Sun of yesteryear.
....Meanwhile, the fall of Solar Cycle 24 is upon us. This graph following kindly provided by Mike Williamson show the rise of solar cycles 18 to 24 from the month of minimum. Solar Cycle 24 is the bottom line and appears to be already in a steep decline.
Click source to read FULL article by David Archibald at WUWT
The peak of this year's eleven-year cycle of the Sun, is likely to be the lowest of the last century. And 'the arguments of NASA scientists who observe our daily star. The number of sunspots is extremely low, despite the short and the expected maximum of its activity. In addition, the radio waves, known to be indicative about solar activity, are very small. "The current cycle, known as Cycle 24," says Joe Gurman, NASA Stereo Project scientist.
"The interest, however, should not diminish as a single flare can damage power grids and knock out satellites, as has happened many times in the past," says the scientist. Although solar science is still in its infancy, has made significant strides in recent years, especially after the incident of Quebec in 1989, when a strong geomagnetic storm produced an extended blackout in Quebec.
"The frequency with which these phenomena occur, however, is much lower than the current widespread outages that occur due to snow storms or hurricanes, as happened recently with Sandy," said Gurman. Galileo Galilei was the first observer of sunspots, but the first reliable records date back to 1849, when the 'Observatory of Zurich began daily observations.
Sunspots are areas of the surface cooler than the surrounding areas, which by contrast appear darker. You notice usually above or below the equator and the cause of their formation is the interaction between the solar plasma and the surface magnetic field. In some circumstances, the twist of the magnetic fields generates enormous explosions that are defined flares, capable of generating huge coronal mass ejections towards space. The charged particles and the plasma clouds emitted, they head from time to time to our planet.
1. Looking at those NOAA predictions they were obviously daft with abrupt changes in smoothed slope and curvature which makes one wonder what procedures they used to make these estimates.
2. Low solar cycles generally are longer than strong ones so even though some are saying the peak of 24 may have now passed it is reasonable to expect another (low) peak in this cycle - maybe around turn of 2013-14.
NOTE in an even cycle the activity - temp correlation is much weaker than in an odd cycle. So even if sunspot numbers go up by some amount there can still be plenty of solar-lunar driven extra cold.
Perhaps Solar Max is already here--or maybe it has already passed. This plot of measured vs. predicted sunspot numbers illustrates the idea.
SOLAR CYCLE UPDATE: 2013 is only days away, and according to most forecasters, Solar Max should be approaching as well. But is it? Barely-increasing sunspot counts and anemic solar activity suggest an interesting possibility: Perhaps Solar Max is already here--or maybe it has already passed.
The blue curve traces monthly sunspot numbers measured since 2000. The red curve is the prediction of the NOAA-led Solar Cycle Prediction Panel. So far, Solar Cycle 24 is underperforming even compared to the panel's low expectations.
There is still a strong chance that Cycle 24 will rebound and peak in 2013 as expected. It might even be a double-peaked cycle like the cycle before it. As 2013 nears only one thing is certain: we don't know what will happen. Stay tuned....
Scientists are gearing up for fierce solar storms next year by setting up a worldwide chain of monitoring stations to study the so-called 'solar maximum'.
Massive increases in the numbers of sunspots are expected to cause changes in the Earth's ionosphere, the shell of plasma at the top of our atmosphere.
There are fears because the current generation of satellite navigation technology has never experience a 'solar max', and changes in the ionosphere could cause problems with GPS and other signals from space.
Click source to read FULL report from Damien Gayle
Since 2011 the sunspot maximum numbers have fallen each month from there October total of 99 and there is little confidence that the "maxima" will remain that way for another year ahead. I have said for some time that the shape of SC24 is wrong and that the peak has already happened, time will tell if I'm right on that.
What I believe is in store during the next couple of decades is that SC25 (the Next Solar Cycle at the end of this decade) will be virtually non existent and as a consequence world temperatures will plummet to another "Dalton Minimum" type event.
All the current misinformation about "Global Warming" and the stupidity of Green Energy investment will come to roost in the next few years. If Government policy is left to continue as it is, scientific ignorance will take it's toll with poor preparation to hinder rather then help the Human race, a race set to be at an estimate of 7 Billion people and currently ready for warming when it should be ready for cooling.....more to follow