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Solar Cycle Predictions: It’s Not Just One Data Point Per Cycle

Presentation #102.01 in the session Solar Cycle.

Published onSep 18, 2023
Solar Cycle Predictions: It’s Not Just One Data Point Per Cycle

Our prediction for the amplitude of Solar Cycle 25, with a peak monthly sunspot number of ~185±15 occurring in the second quarter of 2024, is looking pretty good as of the time of writing, and certainly tracking better than the NOAA/NASA consensus forecast, with a peak which is both significantly lower and significantly later...

This is not meant to gloat, but rather to address a recurring theme of criticism against not just our model, but *any* cycle forecast, namely “they just got lucky this time,” or “that’s just one cycle; wait 11 years or so to be sure they’re right.”

Here, we show that it’s not one data point per cycle. Rather, in addition to solar max, how does a model do with the timing of cycle onset, the timing of flares and other intermediate points, making for several “data points” for chi2 constraint of models and forecast validation. We shall also discuss the (predictable) differences between odd and even cycles, the implications for the rest of Cycle 25, and even an early look at what Cycle 26 might bring.

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