The Inactive Sun Continues

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Highlight: Solar activity, Black Sea and Brazil update.

Solar activity update: Consecutive months of near zero solar cycle sunspot number progression has been observed entering 2020 (Fig. 1). The 2018-20 solar cycle already looks more intense than the previous long duration (2007-10) solar minima from last decade. Concerns over an emerging Dalton Minimum remain. The Dalton Minimum occurred in 1800-1830 when solar minima were lengthy and strong and solar maxima were weak and of short duration. A slight cooling of the atmosphere occurred during that time.

Fig. 1: ISES solar cycle sunspot progression and NASA forecast.

Black Sea drought worsens: Steady lack of precipitation (and snowfall) continues across the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Turkey (Fig. 2). The GFS ENS 15-day percent of normal precipitation forecast remains very dry as high pressure dominates forcing the storm track well north of the area (Fig. 3).

Fig. 2-3: The Europe Drought Observatory identifies intensifying drought in the Black Sea region. Today’s 15-day percent of normal forecast by GFS ENS indicates dryness persists.

Wetter Brazil: Climate Impact Company continues to project a wetter pattern change for Brazil which appears in the 8-14 day forecast according to both the GFS and ECM ensembles (Fig. 4-5). The wet weather carries well into February in Brazil.

Fig. 4-5: The GFS ENS/ECM ENS day 8-14 percent normal rainfall forecast for South America.