An international panel of experts has declared that Solar Cycle 24 began in December 2008 and predict it will peak in 2013, but will be weaker than any cycle since 1928. The extensive solar minimum we are currently experiencing, with almost six months without any sunspots, is expected to end shortly. By next quarter sunspot numbers are expected to begin climbing. But the predicted sunspot number peak in 2013 is only 78.
In a disturbing case of déjà vue, the solar cycle prediction mirrors the economic predictions from the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Departments. In fact, the text is almost identical. We can take solace in the realization that economic and solar cycle predictions typically have about the same level of accuracy.
In other solar cycle developments, the Lost Island DX Society (LIDS), is attempting to lobby congress for a Solar Stimulus Package to accelerate the sun out of its current depression of sunspots in order to hopefully boast Cycle 24 to produce healthier sunspot numbers of over 100. Our lobbying efforts to date have consisted of taking several attractive interns out for drinks in order to get an appointment to see a congressman or senatorin order to plead our case. While it has been unsuccessful to date, LIDS' lobbyists have vowed to continue working their way through the congressional offices until all the attractive interns have been exhausted.