Conditions during February have been fairly quiet as predicted with sunspot activity well below predicted levels.
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity until 23 March 2013
Solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels throughout the forecast period with a slight chance for an M-class event after 10 March. The Solar flux is expected to be at normal to moderate levels. Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet levels through the majority of the forecast period. Unsettled levels are predicted for 01 and 21 March when recurrent coronal hole high speed streams are forecast.
Solar Cycle 14 Peak Prediction
The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 66 in the autumn 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 and this late. 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. http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml
The Boulder K Index
The ‘K’ Index is a good way of predicting shortwave conditions. Usually, if the K Index reaches 5, there is usually a shortwave blackout due at some time. A live and updated chart of the K index can be found at: http://www.solarham.net/planetk.htm