Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunspot Cycle 24 Prediction Update

May 8, 2009 -- Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Update

The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel has reached a consensus decision on the prediction of the next present solar cycle (Cycle 24). First, the panel has agreed that solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. This still qualifies as a prediction since the smoothed sunspot number is only valid through September, 2008.

The panel has decided that the next solar cycle will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the predicted date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity, solar maximum is now expected to occur in May, 2013. Note, this is a consensus opinion, not a unanimous decision. A supermajority of the panel did agree to this prediction. -- NOAA

[In the previous, April 20, 2007, prediction, some of the split panel placed the cycle 24 peak in 2012. Hmmm... If 2012 fatalists are correct, we may never know which prediction will be correct.]

For you serious sunspot trackers, here's the sunspot cycle historic record:

Click image to enlarge. Source [PDF]

Related: Eclipse Sunspots Signal Increased Activity