Solar Cycle 24 March Update


There was a small upward spike in Sunspot numbers in March.   Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center thinks this will make Cycle 24 a double peak “maximum” event.  He says that the second peak may even last into 2014.
(Click on the Charts for more Clarity)
March13sunspots
In the chart below the double peak for Solar Cycle 23 can be seen.
sunspotdoublepeakcycles23_24
(Chart Courtsey of the Solon Blog)
As mentioned before,  the maximum normally comes when the North and South Poles reverse position.  From the chart below you can see that while Cycle 24’s north pole crossed over the 0° latitude line in  June 2012,  the South pole is still about 15-20°  above the 0° latitude line. Cycle 22 had both poles crossing the equator at the same time.  Cycle 24 seems to be following Cycle 23’s pattern. Cycle 23 also had a double Sunspot peak.
march13polarfields

(Chart Courtesy of The Solen Blog:  Wilcox Solar Observatory data used in this study was obtained via the web site http://wso.stanford.edu courtesy of J.T. Hoeksema.)

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center predicts Cycle 24 maximum smoothed Sunspot number at 66 which  would make it the smallest since 1906 when Cycle 14 ended with a smoothed number of 64.2.

Below is the  chart for F10.7cm Radio flux :
march13f10.7flux
cbdakota
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