The Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) in Belgium is among the sun watchers noting that June 7 marks the fifth day in a row with no visible sunspots. Well-known DXer and contester Frank Donovan, W3LPL, — a long-time propagation observer — has suggested that this is a noteworthy development.
“Single spotless days are a statistical anomaly, multiple spotless days are much more significant,” Donovan said.
Just one spotless day occurred during 2014, and two were reported during 2011. Donovan pointed to 2010, when a few “stretches of 2 to 4 spotless days, one stretch of 7 days and one stretch of 12 days” took place.
According to SpaceWeather.com, “Quiet conditions are likely to continue as long as the face of the sun remains blank.”
The SIDC’s 1230 UTC June 7 report indicated that solar activity “once more was very low.” The report continued: “No active regions are visible. No flares or CMEs were observed.”
The SIDC predicted that solar activity was expected to remain “very low” for the next 24 hours. Quiet to unsettled geomagnetic levels (K < 4) are expected on June 7, 8, and 9.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecast no G1 (minor) or greater geomagnetic storms are expected over the next 3 days, and no significant transient or recurrent solar wind features are forecast.
A dearth or complete lack of sunspots does not mean that Solar Cycle 24 is finished, but it is on its way down. Experts predict that Cycle 24 will hit solar minimum in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Thanks to The Daily DX for some information