The Quiet Sun

By: WITN Weather
By: WITN Weather

The new solar cycle that was supposed to begin over a year ago is showing no signs of life.

The sun continues to remain exceptionally quiet compared to recent decades.  On average each solar cycle is about 11 years long.  At that rate the new solar cycle 24 should have started well over a year ago.  Instead we are still seeing a few sunspots from solar cycle 23 that should have ended two years ago.  So far this year we've 88% or 104 days with no sunspots.  Since the solar minimum began in late 2004 we've had 615 spotless days.  The average number of spotless days during a solar minimum is 485 days so we are well beyond that and there are no signs that activity will be picking up.  It has been about 100 years since the sun has been this quiet.  It will be interesting to see if we can match the late 1600s and early 1700s when we went a few decades with only a few sunspots.  The weather was considerably colder at that time compared to today.  I'll keep you updated on this event in the weeks and months to come.

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