Latest solar cycle update from the Space Weather Prediction Center

SWPC updated their solar cycle progression page…looks like the levels have held since the big uptick in March.

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Paul Westhaver

My eyeball pattern recognition software says the curve is too high by 25 units. If you trend the SWPC behavior over time , they routinely have been overestimating the flux.
I don’t think they are doing a good job with their predictions, having to lower them over and over and over again. This uptick represented here is contingent on what appears, to me, to be an outlier. Based on averaged data, I bet the curve drops in actuality over the next 2 years.

Doug Proctor

If this is to be a Dalton minimum, the next few months must see a return to 25 numbers. Agree?
Nov 2008 to June 2011: 2 1/2 years, getting to the “certainty” of a 3-year prediction?

Eyal Porat

The uptick was very short and the sun has returned to its almost slumber.
I follow it everyday, and it seems it is not going to wake up any time soon.
It’s actually quite worrying – considering the Dalton Minimum consequences and the connection some see in its activity (or more accurately inactivity) now.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Hmmm…does this mean that the solar minimum marches on?

geoff

Overall solar activity remains very low. The blip in activity could just be that, a blip. AP index remains very low. We will soon know (if we are not already getting clues) how much impact solar activity has on the climate, just by observing what is happening around us.

R. Shearer

Was that the 4th corrected prediction or will it be the 5th prediction made 6 months after the “real” data is in?

I am not particularly surprised to see that their current prediction (top graph) is more or less where my extrapolation was in 2003 (published Jan 2004)
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm
No adjustments here, as frequently practiced by some renown solar scientists.

ShrNfr

The Oulu Cosmic ray station seems to be getting neutron counts at about the rate of the previous solar minimum in 1997. We may live in interesting times.

Anything is possible

FWIW, I think the Solar Max. will be a long and messy one, bumping along at its’ current level for the next 3 years or so, with occasional bursts of increased activity.
Time to throw that neat-looking smoothed curve out the window. Even when all the data is in sometime around 2018-19. solar scientists will be quibbling for years over exactly when the Solar Maximum of Cycle 24 actually occurred.
Just my two cents……

Stonyground

Sorry to be slightly OT but I keep hearing on the radio news that last month was the hottest April on record. This would appear to be about the UK only as they were interviewing some local farmers. The farmers’ comments appeared to be more concerned with lack of rain so I wondered if it was the driest on record and that this had been changed to hottest to fit in with some GW narrative. I am a gardener so I spent quite a bit of time outdoors last month and it seemed pretty typically April to me, we had to take some plants indoors to avoid a late frost. I would have expected a hottest April on record to be more like June.

Looks like, by looking at past cycles, the longer the numbers do not crash in the near term, the better the chances of going higher.

noaaprogrammer

In the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. it has been the coolest April since 1955.

Bill Marsh

Wasn’t Bob Tisdale saying something about us having already reached Solar max because the Northern magnetic field has reversed? If so, this was a really short cycle.

Dave

The solar minimum has been quite strong here in the Northeast… we’ve hardly seen the sun for months! However, if you look real hard between the all too frequent raindrops, you can sometimes catch a glimpse.
Sorry… couldn’t resist

Watching to see what happens over the next couple months…

Stonyground says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:37 am
Sorry to be slightly OT […]

They are talking about the CET (Central England Temperature) dataset.
Main page is here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/
Downloads here:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/data/download.html
The ranked monthly datasets are here:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_min_sort.txt (Minimum)
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_mean_sort.txt (Mean)
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_max_sort.txt (Maximum)
It appears that April 2011 was indeed the hottest ever April in the CET record by a little over half a degree Celsius.

Jim G

High today of 42 deg F, snow last night (7″-10″ at higher elevations), cold rain today, winds 15-20mph and winter is still upon us. Latitude 44.34°N and Longitude 106.72°W (Elevation 4650′) 5/10/11. Mountain snow pack at 150% of “normal”. We could use some global warming around here. The absolutes of this are not that unusual for this time of year but the duration and lack of any significant number of intermittent warmer days is. Have not seen this extensive a duration of winter weather with such little let up since 1994-1995.
You say the sun has something to do with temperature? I thought with all the additional CO2 we need not worry about such a minor variable?

scott

This graph clearly shows a cool spring here in the bay area.
This graph is probably the most informative from NOAA that I’ve seen.

Stonyground says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:37 am
…radio news that last month was the hottest April on record.
Yes it was UK. I was puzzled by the same info, so I produced this graph:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/April.htm
make of it whatever you whish.

Adam Gallon

The UK has been warmer & drier than usual, has had 150% more sunshine than the norm for April. The reduction in cloud is the cause of our pleasant warmth, nights have been quite chilly.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/april.html
Persisant high pressure and the “Spanish Plume” syphoning warm air up over the country, as we’ve been snadwiched between low pressure over the Atlantic and high over Europe.
Mind you, to balance things out, it’s been snowing in Poland!

Bill Marsh says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:51 am
……………..
Here is what the resultant polar field is at the moment, some time to go to reversal.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC6.htm

GW

What’s ironic is that the present (of this writing) sunspot count is 93, yet looking at the solar images there are around 20 specks. I know there is a formula for calculating the official sunspot number, but I question the justification for it. The other thing is that for a count of 93 shouldn’t we be seeing at least moderate to high levels of activity ? After all, the SPWC is forecasting very low to low activity.
I’m wondering if at solar max, when it eventually arrives, if we’re going to see monthly sunspot numbers around 100, like some of the earlier higher forecasts, but of the smallest and most feeble spots possible, coupled with other weak activity. Meanwhile there will be those that say “see, we had a very active cycle after all, i.e. no new Dalton-like minimum.”

Latitude

Where in the past has it even spiked that high, and stayed there?
Their predicted values are going to be way off.

Stonyground

Thank you for those concise responses. Now best get back to the Sun, I don’t want to derail the thread.

Jim G

GW says:
May 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm
“What’s ironic is that the present (of this writing) sunspot count is 93, yet looking at the solar images there are around 20 specks. I know there is a formula for calculating the official sunspot number, but I question the justification for it. The other thing is that for a count of 93 shouldn’t we be seeing at least moderate to high levels of activity ? After all, the SPWC is forecasting very low to low activity.”
Can anyone tell us if the “formula” has been changed and if so how and when, as this has been brought up before but I do not recall any specifics being trotted out?

reason

It would be interesting to see the author(s) revisit this thread:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/20/a-dalton-minimum-repeat-is-shaping-up/
…and update charts with new data where possible.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

…incoming Leif!!
Dr. Svalgaard, what say ye?

April in the UK [alright, at least in South London] was exceptional.
My near neighbour – Frosted Earth, who has a Met Station – told me yesterday that it had been much the warmest, driest and sunniest April he has rccorded in over40 years in the Chipstead Valley – beating 2007’s marvellous April into a cocked hat – “by 5-0 in a Cup Final”.
All Brits luuuurve footie. Probably.
He also notes a near dawn temperature of -3.7C about 25 F] about 3 May, again locally – in London, but Chipstead Valley is a real frost trap.
Our lodgers aver that the start to the month of May in Hungary [to yesterday, 9th] has been pretty grim – cold and wet.
Plainly it’s global climate disruption at work: – when I was a kid, we called it weather, even if the UK doesn’t seem to get hit by extreme values of anything in weather (for which I am very grateful!].

CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
May 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm
…incoming Leif!!
Dr. Svalgaard, what say ye?

Prediction does not look too bad now, does it? 🙂
But it is still a bit on the high side [the max at 90]. Such extreme swings are common during small cycles, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/SC-14-and-24.png [the green curve is F10.7 scaled to match the SSN over the time shown]. The maximum may well drag out over several years]. The polar fields are reversing, the North is already there and the South perhaps in a year’s time. Such difference is not unusual as the polar reversal [e.g. also happened in 1957-58 http://www.leif.org/ESO/Babcock-1959.pdf ] has a rather random component [the Sun is messy].

Leif Svalgaard says:
May 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Such difference is not unusual as the polar reversal [e.g. also happened in 1957-58 http://www.leif.org/EOS/Babcock-1959.pdf ] is better. The polar fields have an annula variation due the the Earth not being in the sun’s equatorial plane, so we alternatively see the North pole better [in September] and the South pole better [in March]: http://www.leif.org/research/WSO-Polar-Fields-since-2003.png
The difference [bottom, green curve] takes out this wobble and shows what you could call the Solar Dipole. But the dipole is a somewhat artificial [but often useful] concept as the two poles do not vary in synch.

Leif Svalgaard says:
May 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm
http://www.leif.org/EOS/Babcock1959.pdf

jlurtz

“””vukcevic says:
May 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm
Stonyground says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:37 am
…radio news that last month was the hottest April on record.
Yes it was UK. I was puzzled by the same info, so I produced this graph:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/April.htm
make of it whatever you whish.”””
Remember that these temperatures reflect the “airport/urban heat island” analysis of the modern times.
The oceans had hot spots of +5C last year. Note that they don’t even put a temperature on the extreme cold spots:
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif
The oceans are giving up the accumulated heat. When the heat is not replenished, due to the quiet Sun, Global temperatures will plummet.

vukcevic says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:16 am
where my extrapolation was in 2003 (published Jan 2004) […]
No adjustments here, as frequently practiced by some renown solar scientists.

Except that you are hiding that [as you said in 2004] ‘Prior to 1813 a 90 degree phase shift is required’ and ‘For the period prior to 1800 correlation fails’.

rbateman

While there was an uptick in spot area in March, it was not sustained through April, as the spot area went back down, while the flux remained elevated.
The relevant data is here:
ftp://fenyi.solarobs.unideb.hu/pub/DPD/data/dDPD2011.txt
So, the total spot area has gone from a boulder patch to a few rocks and assorted pebbles.

SSam

Like the extra-tropical cyclones… specks have been getting full spot alert status.
I’m waiting to see what comes from the Livingston and Penn data as this diminutive cycle moves forward.

Everyone where I live in Leeds (Yorkshire) is confident that this was the pleasantest April we have ever experienced (I’m 64). In fact people were joking ”This is our Summer – enjoy it while it lasts.” Blossom, trees and and flowers were well in advance of normal. Instead of April showers we got April drought. This was definitely not a Leeds and Bradford Airport Heat Island Effect! I was sitting out in the sunshine sunbathing several days running.
All part of weather’s rich tapestry. April last year and early May were much colder. I remember we were having a General Election in early May last year and the political commentators standing in Parliament Square and Whitehall with their microphones were blue nosed, muffled up in scarves and shivering.
It was a truly exceptional April where I live and very welcome because the “barbecue summers” predicted by the UK Met Office for the last few years never materialised, sadly!

Eyal Pora, geoff, rbateman have commented that the uptick in activity apears short-lived.
This is my graph of the daily sunspot number ..
http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/SunspotGraph.jpg
.. calculated from data in
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/forecasts/SRS.html
Yes there was a blip, but the SSN appears to be holding up at around 60-70.
[No guarantee that I have got the data right]
rbateman : is there a description for the data you posted?

Mike Jonas says:
May 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm
Yes there was a blip, but the SSN appears to be holding up at around 60-70.
Looks good to me.
Here is my take on it
Mon SIDC NOAA F10.7
Feb. 29 53 93
Mar. 56 81 114
Apr. 54 82 113
May. 42 70 106 (so far)
The small area is rather a larger area in March than expected.

Leif Svalgaard says: May 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Except that you are hiding that [as you said in 2004] ‘Prior to 1813 a 90 degree phase shift is required’ and ‘For the period prior to 1800 correlation fails’.
Plainly not true. It is on my website:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm
and elsewhere, Despite being prominent in the original paper, I posted on number of occasions on phase shift in 1810’s, quick google search found more than 10 postings with above graph clearly showing formula and the phase shift.
http://www.google.co.uk/#q=http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm&hl=en&prmd=ivns&ei=cS3KTbeYN8mHhQf6sOCoAg&start=0&sa=N&fp=2b2363fffcc0d23
Further more it was explained to you in detail on number of occasions (including wuwt), here is an example of a detailed elaboration: http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=talkanything&action=display&thread=258
You recently accused me of being ‘economical with truth’, this time you come close to it again. Some people could call such posting ‘trolling’, or worse.
Once you said: 6 Jul 2009 … Leif Svalgaard (16:46:54) “a thief thinks that everybody steals”. wattsupwiththat.com/…/ncar-solar-cycle-linked-to-global-climate/
Yet another futile attempt to discredit, this time by accusing me of something which plainly is not true. One more reason to apologise.
Since I published polar field formula
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
Dr. Svalgaard persued a vendetta here and elsewhere against my posting, which I think is pointless waste of his widely recognised talents.

In view of Dr.S accusation of me attempting to ‘hide the decline’ I wish to repost
‘vukcevic says:
May 10, 2011 at 11:16 am’
with alternative link as:
I am not particularly surprised to see that their current prediction (top graph) is more or less where my extrapolation was in 2003 (published Jan 2004) http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm
No adjustments here, as frequently practiced by some renown solar scientists.

Jcarels

My personal count:
Month Re Beck CV
March: 83 850 82
April: 84 619 63
May (so far): 81 244 35
Wolfnumber stays the same because of the number of groups. Not many spots inside the groups.
Beck and CV numbers drop because the groups visible are very small and weak.
(Bxo, Cri,…)
As you can see the Beck and especially the CV numbers show the true solar activity better (for now): that is LOW!

Jcarels

Should have typed: Lower than in March and April.

vukcevic says:
May 11, 2011 at 12:53 am
“Except that you are hiding that [as you said in 2004] ‘Prior to 1813 a 90 degree phase shift is required’ and ‘For the period prior to 1800 correlation fails’.”
Plainly not true. It is on my website

It seems that you have quickly changed the Figure at
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm because I outed you on hiding [in that post] that the correlation fails. To [finally] get the truth out is always good.

Carla

Here’s a nifty study of rotation rates of stars using a “3-D MHD anelastic
spherical harmonic (ASH) code.” “Case D5 is part of a much larger family of simulations that we have conducted exploring convection and dynamo action in younger suns. The properties of this broad
family are summarized in Figure 2a. Indicated here are 26 simulations at rotation rates ranging from..”
I would think this would be right up your alley Dr. Svalgaard..do you think any of the PT folks read this kinda stuff..rotation rates of other stellar systems..of course where and what these stars may be embedded is not part of this study..
Global-scale Magnetism (and Cycles) in Dynamo Simulations of
Stellar Convection Zones
Benjamin P. Brown1,2, Matthew K. Browning3, Allan Sacha Brun4, Mark S.
Miesch5 and Juri Toomre6
Abstract.
Young solar-type stars rotate rapidly and are very magnetically active.
The magnetic fields at their surfaces likely originate in their convective envelopeswhere
convection and rotation can drive strong dynamo action. Here we explore simulations
of global-scale stellar convection in rapidly rotating suns using the 3-D MHD anelastic
spherical harmonic (ASH) code. The magnetic fields built in these dynamos are organized
on global-scales into wreath-like structures that span the convection zone. We
explore one case rotates five times faster than the Sun in detail. This dynamo simulation,
called case D5, has repeated quasi-cyclic reversals of global-scale polarity. We
compare this case D5 to the broader family of simulations we have been able to explore
and discuss how future simulations and observations can advance our understanding of
stellar dynamos and magnetism.
1. Introduction
..Observations of young, rapidly rotating stars indicate that they have strong magnetic
fields at their surfaces. There are clearly observed correlations between rotation
and activity which appear to hold generally for stars on the lower main sequence (e.g.,Pizzolato et al. 2003). Many of these stars show cycles of activity as well, though here
the dependence on rotation rate, stellar mass and other fundamental parameters is less
clear (e.g., Saar & Brandenburg 1999; Ol´ah et al. 2009).
At present even from a theoretical perspective we do not understand how the stellar dynamo process depends in detail on rotation.
Motivated by this rich observational landscape, we have explored the effects of
more rapid rotation on 3-D convection and dynamo action in simulations of stellar
convection zones..
30 Dec. 2010
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1101/1101.0171v1.pdf
Hmm..we know Ol Sol has had different rotation rates in its past. I’m going with age..and location, location, location determines rotation rate..

Carla says:
May 11, 2011 at 5:14 am
Hmm..we know Ol Sol has had different rotation rates in its past. I’m going with age..and location, location, location determines rotation rate..
No, the location has nothing to do with it. We observe that age-related rotation rate in all stars, no matter where where they a located.

Carla says:
May 11, 2011 at 5:14 am
do you think any of the PT folks read this kinda stuff..rotation rates of other stellar systems..
Dunno. They would if they could find support for their ideas, otherwise they will just ignore it. Now that we are detecting many planets around other stars and we can observe the stellar magnetic cycles as well, one could try to test the PT by seeing if the stellar cycles show any correlation with planets. So far, no such correlations have been found, but the PT folks can always blame the data [not enough, bad, irrelevant] or claim that the solar system is special in some way.

Leif Svalgaard says:
May 11, 2011 at 4:56 am
It seems that you have quickly changed the Figure at
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm because I outed you on hiding [in that post] that the correlation fails. To [finally] get the truth out is always good.
You do talk rubbish. Nothing is changed except newest data for sunspots (orange line).
This is 1800-2011
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm
And this is 1600-2011
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC11.htm
Still confused?
Time to ‘Calm down dear’, it is your birthday after all, haven’t you anything better to do?
You are pointlessly banging your head at brick wall; you’ve been at it for some years now. This is only one of small hobbies of mine, just a little side line. While you are world renowned solar science expert, I hardly know anything about it, just stumbled on something http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
which offers far better value for money than your 0.7Rmax, or whatever it is. Things do move on in science either by design or serendipity.
Happy birthday!

vukcevic says:
May 11, 2011 at 6:37 am
Nothing is changed except newest data for sunspots (orange line).
This is 1800-2011 http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7.htm

and now you changed it back [having been found out].
I hardly know anything about it
Precisely.

Carla

Leif Svalgaard says:
May 11, 2011 at 5:44 am
Carla says:
May 11, 2011 at 5:14 am
Hmm..we know Ol Sol has had different rotation rates in its past. I’m going with age..and location, location, location determines rotation rate..
No, the location has nothing to do with it. We observe that age-related rotation rate in all stars, no matter where where they a located.
~
Left field visualize exercise for Dr. Leif..
Medium size older star hits expanding magnetic shell boundary layer. Duration of passage 66 years. Medium size older star enters expanding denser, faster, cooler region.
location, location, location whether old or young.

Carla says:
May 11, 2011 at 7:02 am
location, location, location whether old or young.
No evidence for any of that.