Solar Cycle 25 exceeds all Predictions

The current solar cycle 25 far exceeds the predictions of the international panel convened for this purpose in 2019. The observed solar cycle is represented by the sunspot number in the top diagram and the F10.7cm radio flux in the bottom diagram. The mean prediction represents the red line in both graphs. The full range of the 2019 panel prediction is indicated as the gray shaded region. It accounts for expected uncertainties in cycle start time and amplitude.

In both plots, the black line represents the monthly averaged data and the purple line represents a 13-month weighted smoothed version of the monthly averaged data. The solar cycle is important in determining the lifetime of satellites in low-Earth orbit because satellite drag correlates with the solar cycle. In addition, the forecast gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all kinds, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms to radiation storms, and is therefore used by many to estimate the expected impact of space weather in the coming years. Including by radio amateurs. 

(Graphics/Info: SWPC/NOAA)

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