Solar cycle 24 – magnetic activity down, twin peaks seem certain

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has published its latest graphs for the month of July, and while sunspot and radio flux numbers showed little change and increased respectively, the Geomagnetic Ap index is back near the bottom again.

Further, as we noted back in October of 2013, and as NASA suggested in May 2013, it looks like a “twin peak” of solar cycle 24 is almost a certainty as the cycle is now on it’s historically predicted down-slope. Meanwhile, we have an angry looking sunspot which is looking directly at Earth and has a chance of producing X class flares.

From NASA’s Spaceweather.com:

CHANCE OF FLARES: Sunspot AR2130 is directly facing Earth and it has a complex ‘delta-class’ magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares. The question is, will this stubbornly-quiet sunspot actually erupt? NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on August 4th

From SWPC, here are the graphs:

Latest Sunspot number prediction

Latest F10.7 cm flux number prediction

The Ap index is at 5, and continues its slump since circa 2006.

Latest Planetary A-index number prediction

More information is available at WUWT’s Solar Reference Page.

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27 thoughts on “Solar cycle 24 – magnetic activity down, twin peaks seem certain

  1. “Equatorial ionosphere;stratospheric sudden warming
    We investigate the ionospheric response to several stratospheric sudden warming events which occurred in Northern Hemisphere winters of 2008 and 2009 during solar minimum conditions. We use GPS total electron content data in a broad latitudinal region at ±40° geographic latitude and a single longitude, 75°W. In all cases, we find a strong daytime ionospheric response to stratospheric sudden warmings. This response is characterized by a semidiurnal character, large amplitude, and persistence of perturbations for up to 3 weeks after the peak in high-latitude stratospheric temperatures. The ionospheric perturbations at the lower latitudes usually begin a few days after the peak in stratospheric temperature and are observed as an enhancement of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) in the morning sector and a suppression of the EIA in the afternoon sector. There is also evidence of a secondary enhancement in the postsunset hours. Once observed in the low latitudes, the phase of semidiurnal perturbations progressively shifts to later local times in subsequent days. This progressive shift occurs at a different rate for different stratospheric warming events. The large magnitude and persistence of ionospheric perturbations, together with the predictability of stratospheric sudden warmings several days in advance, present an opportunity to investigate these phenomena in a systematic manner which may eventually lead to a multiday forecast of low-latitude ionosphere conditions.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JA015400/full

  2. ” While stratospheric sudden warmings are associated with quasi-stationary planetary waves, ionospheric effects via similar physical mechanisms could be expected for other types of planetary waves. Currently, stratospheric sudden warmings can be predicted up to 10 days in advance. This level of predictability together with high amplitudes of planetary waves leading to the development of SSW presents an excellent opportunity to study effects of lower atmospheric forcing on the ionosphere and could lead to the forecast of the ionospheric behavior several days in advance.”

  3. Look how low the geomagnetic field has been/is.

    If there was one substantive measure that stands out like a sore thumb(weak sun) and suggests something significant it’s this one.

  4. Don’t count your humps before they hatch. This cycle has a mind of it’s own, defying most predictions with the greatest of ease. And don’t be surprised if it develops yet another hump or two, or three.

  5. Was the sentence regarding the angry looking sunspot from 2013 or today. I just checked and didn’t see the angry one, matter of fact, recently they have been losing their anger as they turn in from the limb and get real quiet while facing earth. Of course we all know now that before too long those global warmists are gonna be freezing their asses off during the mini ice age. Couldn’t happen to a nicer group.

  6. RE: stricq says:…

    The double peaks are a reflection of the sunspot level in one hemisphere lagging the other. In cycle 24, it is the Southern Hemisphere (SH) that is lagging the NH. The hemispheric meridional flow of material is basically what defines the 11 year sunspot cycle.

    Dr Hathaway of the MSFC discusses this here:

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/dynamo.shtml

    The SH is where the action is now (and has been for about 12 months now as the NH peaked in early 2012). The SH is where AR2130 is located and is approaching (under meridional flow) its equatorial location where magnetic activity (instability) typically ramps up and making it more likely to induce a CME flare.

  7. Mike Maguire asks:
    If there was one substantive measure that stands out like a sore thumb(weak sun) and suggests something significant it’s this one.

    Not exactly, unless you consider a possible entering a century of longish cycles, kind a repeat of the past solar history. Sun has developed a habit of changing its ‘sunspot gears’ every 100 or so years.

  8. NOAA’s shape of the downslope is their best guess and it is also a prediction in that if you extend it as per the shape of Solar Cycle 23 on the left hand side of the graph, you get a solar cycle length of 12.5 years. That is the same length as Solar Cycle 23. The more this extended top goes on the longer the cycle will be.

  9. @ rbateman;

    “Don’t count your humps before they hatch. This cycle has a mind of it’s own, defying most predictions with the greatest of ease. And don’t be surprised if it develops yet another hump or two, or three.”

    I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist;

  10. While we spend hours and hours debating about whether AGW is real or not, my concern is whether it is going to get colder. Not whether, but how much and when. Will some places, regardless of the cost of fuel, be unlivable. Watching the series “Life below Zero”, one of the comments one of the people said about living in an extreme environment is that without heat you die.

    I can’t think of one good thing about colder temperatures. The psychology of warfare is to try to convince you of something that is not. Selling ice cream in Denver when it’s 58 F for example. (daytime high in July) The constant drone of telling you how hot it is when it is not. Or shopping for winter clothes when all that’s for sale is lightweight clothing and flip-flops. Meanwhile, when you can find them, wool clothing is very expensive. If we are not prepared, or at the least thinking about it, a sudden decrease in temperature would ensure chaos. Historically, colder temperatures have brought diseases, famine, and wars. Fighting over the remaining resources would be complicated by the existence of nuclear weapons. Additionally, other weapons use becomes more attractive as difficult choices have to be made. Biological weapons come to mind. Anywhere from killing off beneficial insects, rust in food plants, and direct illness in animals and people. Also, some people could potentially up the scale of hardships by releasing a biologic and then having a solution for it… at a cost. A colder world scares the hell out of me. And we aren’t even talking about it.

    The number one reason I’m here is ( do you really think we can win this argument with government controlled data? ) is to watch exactly what’s on this blog… sunspot activity. Debating, if successful, would only be a bonus.

    • Check out suspici0usobservers.org and yes that’s a zero in the first word. I’m an old dog and don’t scare easily but I’m with you and I have shouted it as loud as I can but when most of the alarmists hear mini ice age their heads fill with shit and explode.

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