Have we hit solar max?
NOAA’s SWPC recently updated their solar metrics graphs, and it seems to me like we may have topped out for solar cycle 24. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of resurgence in any of the three metrics. Granted one month does not a cycle make, but it has been over a year now since the peak of about 95 SSN in October 2011, and there has been nothing similar since. Unlike the big swings of last solar max around 2000-2001, there’s very little variance in the signals of the present, demonstrating that the volatility expected during solar max just isn’t there.
It has been 7 years since the regime shift was observed in the Solar Geomagnetic Index (Ap) in October 2005, and the sun seems to be in a generally quiet magnetic period since then with no hint of the volatility of the past cycle.
UPDATE: Another indicator that we are at solar max is that the polar magnetic fields are about to flip, as tracked in this graphic from Dr. Leif Svalgaard. Click image to enlarge: