Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports:

Sunspots appeared on every day of the past reporting week, and the average daily sunspot number increased from 13.1 to 15.1. Average daily solar flux rose from 73.1 to 74.5. Geomagnetic indicators were up slightly, with average daily planetary A index going from 2.7 to 5, and middle latitude A index from 1.9 to 4.1.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 75 on October 22 – 27; 72 on October 28 – 31; 70 on November 1 – 7; 73 on November 8 – 10; 72 on November 11; 71 on November 12 – 13; 70 on November 14 – 23; 72 on November 24 – 27, and 73 on November 28 – December 5.

Predicted planetary A index is 18 and 20 on October 22 – 23; 15 on October 24 – 26; 12 on October 27; 10 on October 28 – 29; 5 on October 39 – November 6; 10 on November 7; 5 on November 8 – 15; 10, 15, and 18 on November 16 – 18; 20 on November 19 – 20; 24, 14, and 10 on November 21 – 23; 8 on November 24 – 25, and 5 on November 26 – December 5.

Sunspot numbers for October 15 – 21 were 14, 14, 15, 28, 12, 11, and 11, with a mean of 15. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 73.8, 75.3, 73.1, 75.9, 74.8, 74.7, and 73.7, with a mean of 74.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 4, 5, 3, 6, 4, and 10, with a mean of 5. Middle latitude A index was 2, 4, 5, 3, 5, 3, and 7, with a mean of 4.1.

ARRL News Letter on October 22, 2020

Analysis Determines We Are in Solar Cycle 25

It’s now official. The solar minimum between Solar Cycles 24 and 25 — the period when the sun is least active — occurred in December 2019, when the 13-month smoothed sunspot number fell to 1.8. This is according to the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, co-chaired by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). We are now in Solar Cycle 25, with peak sunspot activity expected in 2025, the panel said. The panel expressed high confidence that Solar Cycle 25 will break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles.

”We predict the decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from Cycles 21 through 24, has come to an end,” said Lisa Upton, panel co-chair and solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corporation. ”There is no indication we are approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

At 11 years, Solar Cycle 24 was of average length and had the fourth-smallest intensity since regular record-keeping began in 1755, with what is considered Solar Cycle 1. It was also the weakest cycle in a century. At solar maximum in April 2014, sunspots peaked at 114 for the cycle, well below the 179 average.

Solar Cycle 24’s progression was unusual. The sun’s northern hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking more than 2 years ahead of the southern hemisphere sunspot peak. This resulted in fewer sunspots at solar maximum than if the two hemispheres were in phase.

For the past 8 months, activity on the sun has steadily increased, indicating that we have transitioned to Solar Cycle 25, forecast to be a fairly weak cycle — about the same as Solar Cycle 24. Solar Cycle 25 is expected to peak in July 2025, with a predicted 115 sunspots.

”How quickly solar activity rises is an indicator on how strong the solar cycle will be,” said Doug Biesecker, the NOAA-NASA panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). ”Although we’ve seen a steady increase in sunspot activity this year, it is slow.”

”While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time,” Biesecker added.

Before Solar Cycle 25 peaks in 2024, NOAA is slated to launch a new spacecraft dedicated to operational space weather forecasting. The Space Weather Follow-On L-1 observatory (SWFO-L1) will be equipped with instruments that sample the solar wind, provide imagery of coronal mass ejections, and monitor other extreme activity from the sun in finer detail than before. NOAA’s next Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-U) is also scheduled to launch in 2024. GOES-U will carry three solar monitoring instruments, including the first compact coronagraph, which will help detect coronal mass ejections. Enhanced observations of the sun from these satellites will help improve space weather forecasting.

Recent news stories, such as this article from SpaceRef, give predictions for the next cycle.