3 Dec 2012

Long-term Solar Outlook - downwards!

Chris N7ZWY has put an interesting graph on his website showing his predictions for the future solar cycle progression. His graph shows the solar cycle progressions since the 17th century and Chris's predictions for the future. No-one can be certain of the accuracy of predictions, but as time goes by we are gathering more detailed understanding. I have little doubt Chris is broadly right.

Chris says:
"The average sunspot count for October was 61.4, higher than last month and no indication of the final decline which should bottom out around 2017 or 2018, which will then be followed by two more similarly low sunspot cycles and then a third with almost no activity during a phase reversal."
See http://www.home.earthlink.net/~christrask/Solar%20Activity%201600-2100.pdf

Now, looking at the plot it is highly likely that the sunspot peaks for the next 40-50 years will be weak ones, or even non-existent. The next few years are likely to see the end of the good times on the higher HF bands. Those of us who were around in the 1950s and 1960s didn't know just how lucky we were. Many newcomers to the hobby at that time worked all over the world with 5-10W of CW and AM with S9 signals.

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