Daily Archives: September 5, 2009

Are Sunspots Disappearing?


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I’m not intentionally posting stories primarily about global cooling, but I have long been interested in sunspots and solar maximums/minimums. I don’t know a whole lot about this phenomena, but what I do know is solar minimums typically correlate with anomalous cold spells (the Maunder Minimum is a good example) while solar maximum’s correlate with anomalous warm spells.

I suppose this makes sense: the more active the sun is in setting off solar flares/explosions, the more likely it is for Earth to be affected by the extra heat the sun emits. When the sun is quiet, it gives off very little extra warming, meaning the Earth is more susceptible to sharper cold periods.

If you remember a few posts back when I talked about the PDO and how it has more of a direct effect on our weather than El Nino/La Nina, you’ll see why I find this subject interesting. Just recently we went 51 consecutive days with absolutely zero sunspots, making the sun the 4th quietest it has ever been in recorded history. We even surpassed a period in the mid 1800s with low sunspot levels!

But when you add low sunspot numbers, a continuing solar minimum and a -PDO to the mix, you can’t help but wonder what the next few years may have in store.

Spaceweather.com has a top news story highlighting this question: Are Sunspots Disappearing? (click on the link for the NASA story). Also, fellow blog reader Connie B., e-mailed me a link to a UK news story that talks about sun spots and their relation to climate change which can be read here. What do you guys think?

As for our current weather, today’s rain storm moved through faster than expected, so most of today has been filled with clouds, wind and cool temperatures but hold on…tomorrow looks potentially wetter and windier in spots with thunder storms very likely in the afternoon. Please plan any outdoor activities accordingly! I’d actually move them indoors if I were you…

Next week the weather gradually improves. Welcome to meteorological fall, which started September 1st!

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: forecastingkitsap@live.com