October 2013 Sunspots: Largest jump in Solar cycle 24 so far

latest_512_4500[2]Looks like a double peak for cycle 24 is forming

As many WUWT readers have noted in comments, October 2013 has been significantly more active than the previous several months, and we have not seen this level of activity since October 2011.

At right, is the sun today showing several sunspots of significant size. No splitting hairs on “sunspecks” is needed to elevate the count.

NOAA’s SWPC has updated their graphs, and for the first time in many months, the real data nearly matches the prediction line:

sunspot[1]

The gain from last month is the largest uptick in solar cycle 24 so far.

Similarly, there was an uptick in 10.7cm radio flux, though it is not even close to the maximum gain seen back in mid 2011.

f10[1]

However, the Ap index, a proxy for the sun’s magnetic dynamo, continues to bump along the bottom, some thing it has been doing since October 2005, when a significant step change occurred. None of the peaks seen in Cycle 23 in 2004 have yet to be seen.

Ap[1]

Steve Davidson writes of his analysis:

I created, from Belgium’s official counts, a graph very similar to NASA’s “Solar Cycle Sunspot Number Progression” graph maintained on WUWT’s “Solar Page”.

In my story I also review the current status of Solar Cycle 24 predictions and highlight Leif Svalgaard’s contributions to Cycle 24 understanding.

http://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/october-2013-sunspots-huge-jump/

David Hathaway has also updated his page at NASA Marshall saying:

The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 65 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 flat 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.

His plot:

ssn_predict_l[1]

As always, there’s more of interest on  WUWT’s Solar Reference Page

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Chris @NJSnowFan

I noticed that also, seemed to really get active after a large commit took a plunge into the sun on October 10-11. Not sure if it was responsible for sparking the most ever avtive period in sunspot cycle 24?
Video.
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2013/10oct13/sundiver2_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=ojnjgvjuv3g9i7gdhh74419k27

I wish you would not jump on the [dumbed-down] double peak bandwagon. As in previous weak cycles there will be multiple peaks, cycle 14 coming to mind: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html

Bill

Thanks Leif,
That is interesting about Cycle 14.

Chris @NJSnowFan

What do you think Leif, commit had and influence??
Thanks

D. Patterson

October 2013 Sunsots: Largest jump in Solar cycle 24 so far

Sunsots? I hope this does not mean the Sun has become besotted by Al Gore and company.

Latitude

sunsots: solar astronomers with a serious drinking problem

Bloke down the pub

” and for the first time in many months, the real data nearly matches the prediction line:”
except to get the smoothed figure up to the prediction there would have needed to be a jump up to about 125.

JimS

If anything bad is happening to the Sun, it is because of man-made CO2 here on the earth. Don’t laugh, because Al Gore told me so.

Chris @NJSnowFan says:
November 4, 2013 at 8:17 am
What do you think Leif, commit had and influence??
Garbled?

Bloke down the pub says:
November 4, 2013 at 8:38 am
” and for the first time in many months, the real data nearly matches the prediction line:”
At the time I pointed out that even 90 was to high. I was suggesting 70 was more in line with the data, but that was too large a step down for the Panel. For practical purposes there is no real difference between 90 and 70, so I didn’t belabor the difference.

Sunspots: the solar equivalent of phrenology? While indicative of underlying processes/happenings, they appear to be more of a sporadic or spurious ‘product’ that a nice linearly-coupled indication of those underlying ‘processes’.
Just an observation from these quarters …
.

chris y

It is time for Hathaway to publish his predicted date for the next solar minimum. Since he believes we are at cycle 24 peak, this should be a dead-certain piece of cake.

Jean Meeus

If cycle 24 will not be double-peaked, at least it will have a secundary maximum.
I am speaking here of the *smoothed* monthly means, not of the actual monthly means.

Rob

We’re going to test the famous theory. Sunspot cycle length and temperature…

Nik

Well… I’m not a scientist at all just a computer programmer but i have this thought which I must tell someone.
@Leif, just tell me I’m wrong and how (99.9% certainty I’m wrong), I admire you very much as an honest scientist and won’t mind in the least bit at all.
The sun has 2 hemispheres which circulate the magnetic field in each hemisphere. When the speeds are close everything is as we have been seeing for centuries. When one goes faster or slower than a specific point it causes a core eddy which traps the magnetic fields in the center of the sun causing a lack of sunspots.
There… I said it.

rujholla

@chris
I think you mean a comet.

alacran

So what? The activity passed from the northpole to the southpole, we have the second uptick in activity and from now, we exspect the typical slowdown.Sun seems to be on the way to a grand minimum! We’ll see with the November and December sunspotcounts!

Nik

@Nik – Myself. Have I just explained how variable stars work? Oh my?

Thanks, Anthony.
Good reporting.

Chris @NJSnowFan, I think you mean comet, sir.
This double-peak business may be just looking for a pattern where there is none, but this has been an exceptionally weak cycle so far. Maybe it really is the beginning of a new grand minima – or maybe I’m guilty of pattern-seeking, too.

Nik says:
November 4, 2013 at 9:16 am
When one goes faster or slower than a specific point it causes a core eddy which traps the magnetic fields in the center of the sun causing a lack of sunspots
There is no doubt that different circulations are involved, although your specific explanation is not how it works.

Jean Meeus says:
November 4, 2013 at 9:01 am
I am speaking here of the *smoothed* monthly means, not of the actual monthly means.
The smoothed means also had several peaks: http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_similar_cycles.png

Jean Meeus

< The smoothed means also had several peaks.
If the smoothed monthly means are calculated with the formula I published in the Belgian journal 'Ciel et Terre' in 1958, one obtains a more smoother curve.

Jean Meeus says:
November 4, 2013 at 9:46 am
If the smoothed monthly means are calculated with the formula I published in the Belgian journal ‘Ciel et Terre’ in 1958, one obtains a more smoother curve.
One can always find a formula that will remove any peaks one wants to remove. The point is that a simple double peak is too simplistic if just based on the yo-yo sunspot number numbers. One could justify a ‘double peak’ by pointing out that the Northern Hemisphere peaked first and that now [perhaps] the Southern Hemisphere is peaking, see Figure 7 of http://www.leif.org/research/ApJ88587.pdf

Jean Meeus

Leif,
With my formula I did not want to remove peaks, but I just wanted to obtain a smoother curve. The “official” smoothing formula gives practically the same weight to 13 successive monthly means, which is rather odd. On the contrary, in my formula I give more weights to the central months.
For the interested persons, my formula uses the following weights for the 13 successive months:
1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 10, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1.

BradProp1

Over at GWPF they have an article about how NASA has a tendency to way over count sunspots.
http://www.thegwpf.org/solar-activity-big-headlines/

@njsnowfan

Yes I meant COMET
One typo has nothing to do with a simple question.
Dam mobile phone device makes more typos then me.
Leif did not answer my question so I assume he has no idea?
I

steveta_uk

njsnowfan, your question was incoherent so could not be answered. Your follow up is simply rude, so if I were Leif I would ignore it. Try being polite.

William Astley

How the solar northern hemisphere has changed is a predictor of how the solar southern hemisphere will change. Look at the solar visual and solar magnetogram. The solar northern hemisphere is roughly 14 months ahead of the solar southern hemisphere. The so called dual peak is the fact that the solar southern hemisphere lags the northern hemisphere.
What we are currently observing in the solar southern hemisphere is what occurred in the solar northern hemisphere. Why is the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots decaying linearly? How will that change affect the solar magnetic cycle if it extrapolated? Observations indicate it is continuing.
As I noted the standard solar sunspot model has the creation of the magnetic flux tubes that rise up to the surface of the sun to form sunspots on the surface, formed in the region which is the interface between the solar convection zone and the solar radiative zone which is called the tachocline.
Magnetic flux tubes are buoyant, they float up through the convection zone. Calculations indicate that if the magnetic flux tubes that form sunspots on the surface sun where formed in the convection zone they would rise up to surface of the sun before reaching the necessary field strength to form sunspots on the surface of the sun.
Lief has a proposed an alternative mechanism to create flux tubes where the magnetic flux tubes are formed in the convection zone. So far he has provided no logic or observational evidence to support the convection zone hypothesis beyond a single sentence comment that the convection zone hypothesis is simpler than tachocline hypothesis.
A prosecuting attorney does not attempt to prosecute the next door neighbor for a murder with the comment to the judge that it is simpler as he has the next door neighbor in custody and it is a pain to find the true murderer and to develop a logical case to convince a neutral informed group that he has solved the problem, to convict the true murderer. It does not matter whether a hypothesis is or is not simple, the question is it physically correct?

Chris @NJSnowFan

Sorry, I Was not trying to be rude.
That comet that took the plunge on 10/10-11 was the largest I have ever observed since I started studying the sun in 2007.

Rob

Looks like something to lean to a warm December at least (more positive nao)?

Frank

Dr. Svalgaard: “The smoothed means also had several peaks: http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_similar_cycles.png
Have you adjusted the data for SC14 for the Waldmeier discontinuity? If so, you’ll see how much stronger SC14 was and how much more spiky than SC24 untill now…

Largest jump in Solar Cycle 24 …..
It is simple …. planets
http://daltonsminima.altervista.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Configurazione-planetaria-23-10-2013.jpg
Venus, Earth approaching Jupiter with transit of Mercury

Chris @NJSnowFan

While this has to do with sunspot cycle #24 and it’s weak cycle over all. I have been reading report and the so called warmist have been saying strong winds at Antarctic have increased over the years causing Record sea ice lately and caused by Global Warming. A bunch of BS I feel.
From what I have learned, low solar activity heats the stratosphere ( opposite of what one may think that are not educated on the subject). Result is expanding the air, pushing down on the troposphere increases winds, pushing the cold air out away from the S Pole. That would explain the increase in winds making for record sea ice extent?
Stratospheric warming only seems to be factor during winter months at both N And S poles.
Am I right or wrong??

Leif,
If weak solar cycles have asynchronous hemispherical sunspot activity and strong solar cycles have synchronous hemispherical sunspot activity then obviously the current weak cycle will exhibit asynchronous sunspot activity, which means the sunspot activity was expected to peak on the northern hemisphere first and then it was expected to peak on the southern hemisphere, this is what has occurred, the northern hemisphere has peaked and now the southern hemisphere is peaking, that’s, um lets count the peaks.
What will be interesting is if after the current activity on the southern hemisphere decreases, will the northern hemisphere peak again? and will it be followed by the southern hemisphere, as this is the first time any of us have observed the behavior and experienced first hand such a weak cycle no one can be sure, but I would expect it would depend on when the next sunspot minimum will occur, what is your date for the next sunspot minimum 2017? 2018? 2019? 2020? or are you just throwing blind curves into the future.
Below is an example of synchronous hemispherical sunspot activity.
http://thetempestspark.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/larsspgr.jpg

Michele says:
November 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Largest jump in Solar Cycle 24 …..
It is simple …. planets
Venus, Earth approaching Jupiter with transit of Mercury

Altho I am intrested in a posible relationship between the suns activity and the orbital peramiters of the gas giants, your comment makes this line of astronomical research sound like Astrology, I would not be surprised if this was your intention.

OMG, more runny means!
If they would use a proper filter to “smooth” their data the peak in “smoothed montly values” might actually line up with peak in the data (rather than invert it).
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=593
This is a classic example of the kind of data distoration that I highlight in my article on here:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/triple-running-mean-filters/
The peak value would a little nearer their predicted value too.

lsvalgaard says:
I wish you would not jump on the [dumbed-down] double peak bandwagon. As in previous weak cycles there will be multiple peaks, cycle 14 coming to mind: http://www.solen.info/solar/cycl14.html
===
Cool, there’s a whole other bunch of peaks that are inverted and mis-placed. So now we can compare the inverted peaks of cycle 14 with those of cycle24.

Argiris Diamantis

I do have a question. Lately sunspot activity is taking place almost entirely on the southern hemisphere. Activity on the northern hemisphere remains very low. My question is: did this also happen during previous solar cycles? In these graphs we see only the total number of sunspots, but not how they are and were divided on each hemisphere. Some people think solar activity on the NH will remain very low during the rest of this cycle and that activity on the SH will follow that same pattern soon. We will know in a few years time. Like Niels Bohr used to say: It is always difficult to make predictions, especially when it concerns the future.

Chris @NJSnowFan

I want to thank Steve D. @nynjpawerther and Joe B @bigjoebastardi for over the years bringing to attention of the effects of how solar activity effects the stratosphere resulting in Arctic cold air being pushed south away from the Arctic regions. Same situation happens at the Antarctic region.
A Tweet response from meteorologist Steve G @nynjpaweather confirms my claims about lower solar activity warms stratosphere.
https://mobile.twitter.com/nynjpaweather/status/397461528359993344

Jean Meeus says:
November 4, 2013 at 10:32 am
The “official” smoothing formula gives practically the same weight to 13 successive monthly means, which is rather odd.
No doubt, the official formula is not very good, but it is ‘official;, so people stick with it.
BradProp1 says:
November 4, 2013 at 10:55 am
Over at GWPF they have an article about how NASA has a tendency to way over count sunspots.
Actually, they do not over count. What goes on is that SIDC [by convention] tries to match counts done by Wolf [who did not count little spots, in order to be compatible with Schwabe -(who discovered the sunspot cycle)]. Back in the 1880s it was decided to count every spot that could be seen, so in order to be compatible with Wolf and thus with Schwabe it was determined [by parallel counting over 17 years] that the ‘count-all’ sunspot number should be multiplied by 0.60 to match the old ‘dont-count-all’ sunspot number. NASA reports the raw count with no attempt to match Wolf.
@njsnowfan says:
November 4, 2013 at 10:56 am
Leif did not answer my question so I assume he has no idea?
This has come up several times. There is no good evidence that a comet can trigger solar eruptions.
William Astley says:
November 4, 2013 at 10:59 am
Leif has a proposed an alternative mechanism to create flux tubes where the magnetic flux tubes are formed in the convection zone.
This is not my proposal, but the mechanism favored by an increasing number of solar physicists. The major blow to the tachocline-mechanism is the [now firm] observational data showing that the meridional circulation that was supposed to carry the seed-field down below the convection zone is actually not deep enough and doesn’t go that far down, but is instead more of a surface phenomenon. There are also good theoretical reasons and modelling for a shallow dynamo or at least a dynamo working through the whole convection zone and not at the tachocline: http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/12842
Frank says:
November 4, 2013 at 11:59 am
Have you adjusted the data for SC14 for the Waldmeier discontinuity? If so, you’ll see how much stronger SC14 was and how much more spiky than SC24 untill now…
SC14 was probably stronger than SC24. The spikiness may be the result of the SC14 counts were based on one observer per day only, while SC24 is based on something like 60 observers throughout the day. An average is usually smoother than a single count series. But it could also just be that the sun is ‘messy’ and no two cycles are really alike.
Sparks says:
November 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm
what is your date for the next sunspot minimum 2017? 2018? 2019? 2020? or are you just throwing blind curves into the future.
Well, it is not completely blind. The run of the cycle is usually well set when we are halfway through, so Hathaway’s estimate of 2021 is likely to be good: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif

If we look at earlier part of the “prediction” no shown in the posted graphs the peak at the end of 2011 would have been right on the NASA curve. Though it obviously doesn’t match the peak of the prediction at least it touched it.
http://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/october-2013-sunspots-huge-jump/

Chris @NJSnowFan

Thanks Leif for answer.
Argaris. Yes
Scroll down to butterfly map.http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/solar/
Sorry I posted this on wrong trend in response to ken.
Snip it Anthony
Thanks Chris

Taxed to death

What’s the probability that we are seeing the peak?

Jean Meeus: If the smoothed monthly means are calculated with the formula I published in the Belgian journal ‘Ciel et Terre’ in 1958, one obtains a more smoother curve.
For the interested persons, my formula uses the following weights for the 13 successive months:
1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 10, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1.
===
Your series look rather like the impuse response of the triple running mean , how did you create it?

lsvalgaard says:
November 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm
Well, it is not completely blind. The run of the cycle is usually well set when we are halfway through, so Hathaway’s estimate of 2021 is likely to be good:
I know, I was just teasing… the end of 2017 to the beginning of 2018 looks good to me for the beginning of the next minimum.

William Astley says:
November 4, 2013 at 10:59 am
Leif has a proposed an alternative mechanism to create flux tubes where the magnetic flux tubes are formed in the convection zone.
This is not my proposal, but the mechanism fav
ored by an increasing number of solar physicists. The major blow to the tachocline-mechanism is the [now firm] observational data showing that the meridional circulation that was supposed to carry the seed-field down below the convection zone is actually not deep enough and doesn’t go that far down, but is instead more of a surface phenomenon. There is an article in Physics Today on this very topic http://www.leif.org/EOS/PT-3-2165-Meridional-Circulation.pdf
“The results could prove problematic for some solar dynamo theories. In particular, one popular class of models—the so-called flux-transport dynamo models—has long relied on a single circulation cell to explain phenomena associated with the 11-year solar activity cycle. For instance, sunspots—cool, dark patches on the solar surface that form when magnetized plasma bubbles up from the convective zone’s floor—appear at mid latitudes early in the cycle and at progressively lower latitudes as the cycle proceeds.
Flux-transport dynamo models attribute that equatorward migration to the meridional flow at the bottom of the convective zone. But in a two-cell pattern—or any even-celled pattern—that flow is toward the poles, not the equator”
” If those studies don’t reveal a third reversal, there may be little wiggle room left for flux-transport dynamo models of the solar cycle.”

DaveR

The Sun is increasing its defenses in response to comet Ison. Just like it did to PannSTARRS back in 2011.

Janice Moore

Anthony, what time is it in Chico? 😉
[East coast time -3:00. Or, spaced-out time minus 65 years from reality. Mod]