Sunspot count is virtually unchanged from last month :
It seems possible that we’ve seen the double peak, and it will be downhill after this.
A similar status quo in radio flux – little change from last month.
The Ap magnetic index dropped 4 units from last month, suggesting a slowing in the solar dynamo.
On August 1st, solar scientist David Hathaway updated his prediction page but the text is identical to last month – no change in the forecast.
The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 67 in the Summer 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. The smoothed sunspot number has been rising again over the last four months. 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.
About the only significant even in the last month is that the solar polar fields have begun their reversal, indicating we are at “solar max”, which seems like a misnomer given the low activity observed at the moment. That’s why I think we may have seen the “double peak” and it is downhill from here.
Solar Polar Fields – Mt. Wilson and Wilcox Combined -1966 to Present
Watch the progress on the WUWT solar reference page