The ‘mill pond’ conditions are likely to continue until the end of September, with the A index at 5 and the K index at 2 which I will refer to as ‘normal’ for this period. October will begin with a disturbance peaking on October 1st with the A Index rising to 30 and the K index to 5. This will have calmed down to ‘normal’ by October 8th and will be followed by a lesser disturbance on 12th October with the A index at 12 and the K Index at at 14, returning to ‘normal’ by the 15th. The Solar flux, however will remain at a constant 67 during this period. From: http://www.wm7d.net/hamradio/solar/27d_forecast.shtml
There is still much speculation among the scientific community about the true beginning of Solar Cycle 24. In 2008, a negatively charged sunspot on January 24 was thought to be the start of the new solar cycle, as was another very weak sunspot on 31 July. The general consensus of opinion is now mid 2009!
Solar cycle 24 “will begin in mid 2009”
The false start announced last year for the new Solar Cycle 24 has been followed up with speculation of things like ‘double dip’ minima and even a new ice age for sunspots. But let’s try to stay positive and not subscribe to thoughts of another minimum of 70 years, as occurred from 1645 to 1715, the only flat-lining in sunspot cycles since records.
Looking back at the onset of previous cycles that followed prolonged periods without Sunspots, gives indication that Cycle 24 may have a much greater start-up intensity. Should it behave like Cycles 11 to 14 in the 19th century there will be more years rising and a shorter period in decline.
The latest prediction is that Cycle 24 will begin in mid 2009. The prolonged solar minimum is also occurring at a time of reports in the Northern Hemisphere of continued sporadic-E enhancement on both the ten and six metre bands.
Greyline propagation on HF also is experiencing a lack of geomagnetic disturbance, which is a good thing. Jim Linton VK3PC. Wireless Institute of Australia http://www.wia.org.au/
A new sunspot, number 1001, emerged on Thursday, September 11. It is actually a single group with two small magnetic disturbances. The previous Sunspot, was a weak one barely emerging on August 21-22. It was so small that some observatories didn't count it, but it was a Cycle 24 spot.
August was much ballyhooed as the first time since 1913 that there was a month or more between the most recent sunspot appearances. Actually it was the first time that a whole calendar month went by with no spots. Of course, this doesn't really mean anything more than any other 30 day period with no spots, because the calendar is based on arbitrary beginnings and endings.
From K7RA via Southgate ARC http://www.southgatearc.org/rss/
See also this article about solar cycle 24 and its implications for the United States by David Archibald at: www.warwickhughes.com/agri/Solar_Arch_NY_Mar2_08.pdf
I also found this article from Ben Carlson writing in The Atlantic magazine:
Will changes in sunspot activity wreak havoc on earth? With the advent of Solar Cycle 24, many scientists expect a massive spike in solar activity that will have the potential to disrupt satellites, cell phones, and air traffic in 2012. But the real concern is Solar Cycle 25. Around 2022, a catastrophic drop in sun activity—the lowest in centuries, according to NASA—may cause temperatures on earth to plunge, inaugurating an extended period of cold. In other words, a new Ice Age.
What seems to have escaped many reporters’ grasps is that this dire scenario doesn’t square with the facts. The only evidence its proponents present is the seeming correlation between the “Little Ice Age” of the 17th and 18th centuries and a concurrent period of solar slump. But as everyone would do well to remember, climate is far more complicated than that. As one of the most chaotic and multi-variable systems humans study, it is easy to see why debates over climate change often occur.
Ben Carlson The Atlantic http://thecurrent.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/02/the-ice-age-cometh.phpThanks to Ken Fletcher and Mike Terry for regular updates.
Links to these articles and more can be found at: www.jameswelsh.org.uk