Solar physicist Leif Svalgaard of the W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University has predicted a maximum sunspot number of 128 ±10, slightly better than Solar Cycle 24.
“The overall average is 132 ±47 (median 124),” he said. “None of these numbers are substantially different, so one could perhaps just go with the ‘wisdom of the crowd.’ All predictions that we consider have the underlying assumption that the sun has not changed its behavior (its ‘spots,’ so to speak) on a time scale of a few centuries (the Maunder Minimum may be a possible violation of that assumption), and that there will be no such changes in the near future, in spite of speculative suggestions.” Those included one of his own in 2013.
Svalgaard characterized the science of solar cycle prediction to be still in its infancy, “borne out by the extreme range of predictions of Cycle 25.” — Thanks to Frank Donovan, W3LPL
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