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Space Weather Prediction Center

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:51:15

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NOAA Scales mini

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Space Weather Conditions
24-Hour Observed Maximums
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Latest Observed
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
S1 or greater --
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
S1 or greater --
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R1-R2 --
R3-R5 --
S1 or greater --
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Current Space Weather Conditions
R1 (Minor) Radio Blackout Impacts
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HF Radio: Weak or minor degradation of HF radio communication on sunlit side, occasional loss of radio contact.
Navigation: Low-frequency navigation signals degraded for brief intervals.
More about the NOAA Space Weather Scales

Solar Cycle Progression



The observed  and predicted ​Solar Cycle solar cycle is depicted in Sunspot Number in the top graph and observed and predicted F10.7cm Radio Flux in the bottom graph.

In both plots, the black line represents the monthly averaged data and the purple line represents a 13-month weighted, smoothed version of the monthly averaged data.  The forecast for the current (or next) solar cycle is given by the red line.  A new feature is we now allow the ability to display the sunspot data back to solar cycle 1 and F10.7 data back to 2004.

These plots, like many on the SWPC website, are now interactive.

  • Mousing your cursor over the plots will display the data values applicable to the date the cursor is over.
  • Left clicking on the data and and holding while you drag will define a zoom window.
  • Use the buttons above each plot to return to the default zoom showing the current cycle or to show the entire available data set.
  • There is also an option to toggle the solar cycle numbering on/off.
  • Beneath each main plot window, the entire time series is shown and you can click/hold on either side of the blue shaded region to expand or contract the zoom window or if you click/hold on the blue shaded region itself, you can slide it to anywhere in the time series.
  • A drop down menu above and to the right of each plot allows you to PRINT, or download PNG, PDF, or SVG format images of the associated plot

Solar cycle predictions are used by various agencies and many industry groups.  The solar cycle is important for determining the lifetime of satellites in low-Earth orbit, as the drag on the satellites correlates with the solar cycle, especially as represented by F10.7cm.  A higher solar maximum decreases satellite life and a lower solar maximum extends satellite life.  Also, the prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms to radiation storms, so is used by many industries to gauge the expected impact of space weather in the coming years.

The forecast comes from the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel representing NOAA, NASA and the International Space Environmental Services (ISES).  This amounts to the ‘official’ forecast for the solar cycle.  The Prediction Panel forecasts the sunspot number expected for solar maximum and has predicted Cycle 25 to reach a maximum of 115 occurring in July, 2025.  The error bars on this prediction mean the panel expects the cycle maximum could be between 105-125 with the peak occurring between November 2024 and March 2026.

Observed Solar Cycle Indices: Recent Solar Indices of Observed Monthly Mean Values

Predicted Solar Cycle: Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values with Expected Ranges


Sources​

Fields (JSON)

  • time-tag: yyyy-mm​
  • ssn: mean monthly S.I.D.C. sunspot number
  • smoothed_ssn: smoothed S.I.D.C. sunspot number
  • observed_swpc_ssn: mean monthly SWPC/SWO sunspot number
  • smoothed_swpc_ssn: smoothed SWPC/SWO sunspot number
  • f10.7: mean monthly Penticton, B.C. 10.7cm radio flux values (sfu)
  • smoothed_f10.7: smoothed 10.7cm radio flux values (sfu)

Values for the most recent 6 months are considered preliminary.

Sources

  • S.I.D.C. Brussels International Sunspot Number, Data Files.​
  • Penticton, B.C., Canada: 10.7cm radio flux values (sfu), Data Files.
  • Predicted values are based on the consensus of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel​

Fields (JSON)

  • time-tag: yyyy-mm
  • predicted_ssn: predicted sunspot number
  • high_ssn: predicted sunspot number high range
  • low_ssn: predicted sunspot number low range
  • predicted_f10.7: predicted f10.7cm value
  • high_f10.7: predicted f10.7cm high range
  • low_f10.7: predicted f10.7cm low range

Data not yet available or not calculable: -1.0

Prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

Please send comments and suggestions to swpc.webmaster@noaa.gov