Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 1:30 PM
Room 352 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Solar Cycle 24 was predicted to be anything but an average sunspot cycle. The 104 known predictions varied from an extremely active Solar Cycle 24 to a shutdown of activity. Reality has been more mundane. There were peaks in the sunspot number in the Northern hemisphere in 2011 and in the Southern hemisphere in 2014, with solar maximum coming in at an annual-averaged sunspot number of 80. A meta-analysis of the predictions of the amplitude of Solar Cycle 24 will be used to explore changes in the ensemble of predictions with time. One confounding issue is how to deal with updated predictions, especially those that depend on information from the early evolution of a sunspot cycle. I will describe the status of Solar Cycle 24, our need for solar activity predictions long before a sunspot cycle begins, describe how those predictions could be made more accurate in the future, and anticipate the upcoming flurry of predictions for Solar Cycle 25.
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