Solar Physics

, Volume 266, Issue 2, pp 391–403

Prediction of Solar Cycle 24 Using Geomagnetic Precursors: Validation and Update



In the previous study (Dabas et al. in Solar Phys.250, 171, 2008), to predict the maximum sunspot number of the current solar cycle 24 based on the geomagnetic activity of the preceding sunspot minimum, the Ap index was used which is available from the last six to seven solar cycles. Since a longer series of the aa index is available for more than the last 10 – 12 cycles, the present study utilizes aa to validate the earlier prediction. Based on the same methodology, the disturbance index (DI), which is the 12-month moving average of the number of disturbed days (aa≥50), is computed at thirteen selected times (called variate blocks 1,2,…,13; each of them in six-month duration) during the declining portion of the ongoing sunspot cycle. Then its correlation with the maximum sunspot number of the following cycle is evaluated. As in the case of Ap, variate block 9, which occurs exactly 48 months after the current cycle maximum, gives the best correlation (R=0.96) with a minimum standard error of estimation (SEE) of ± 9. As applied to cycle 24, the aa index as precursor yields the maximum sunspot number of about 120±16 (the 90% prediction interval), which is within the 90% prediction interval of the earlier prediction (124±23 using Ap). Furthermore, the same method is applied to an expanded range of cycles 11 – 23, and once again variate block 9 gives the best correlation (R=0.95) with a minimum SEE of ± 13. The relation yields the modified maximum amplitude for cycle 24 of about 131±20, which is also close to our earlier prediction and is likely to occur at about 43±4 months after its minimum (December 2008), probably in July 2012 (± 4 months).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bounar, K.H., Cliver, E.W., Boriakoff, V.: 1997, Solar Phys. 176, 211. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Dabas, R.S., Sharma, K., Das, R.M., Pillai, K.G.M., Chopra, P., Sethi, N.K.: 2008, Solar Phys. 250, 171. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Duhau, S.: 2003, Solar Phys. 213, 203. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Du, Z.L., Wang, H.N., Zhang, L.Y.: 2008, Chin. J. Astron. Astrophys. 8, 477. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Du, Z.L., Wang, H.N., Zhang, L.Y.: 2009a, Solar. Phys. 255, 179. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Du, Z.L., Li, R., Wang, H.N.: 2009b, Astron. J. 138, 1998. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Feynman, J.: 1982, J. Geophys. Res. 87, 6153. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Hanslmeier, A., Denkmayr, K., Weiss, P.: 1999, Solar Phys. 184, 213. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Hathaway, D.H., Wilson, R.M., Reichmann, D.J.: 1994, Solar Phys. 151, 177. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Hathaway, D.H., Wilson, R.M.: 2004, Solar Phys. 224, 5. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. Hathaway, D.H., Wilson, R.M.: 2006, Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L18101. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. Jain, R.: 2006, In: 36th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Abstract number C4.2-0053-06 (in CD-ROM). Google Scholar
  13. Javaraiah, J.: 2007, Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc. 377, L34. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. Javaraiah, J.: 2008, Solar Phys. 252, 419. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. Kane, R.P.: 1997a, Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 3121. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. Kane, R.P.: 1997b, Ann. Geophys. 15, 1581. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Kane, R.P.: 2007a, Solar Phys. 243, 205. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Kane, R.P.: 2007b, Solar Phys. 246, 487. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. Lantos, P.: 2000, Solar Phys. 196, 221. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Lantos, P., Richard, O.: 1998, Solar Phys. 182, 231. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  21. Legrand, J.P., Simon, P.A.: 1981, Solar Phys. 70, 173. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. Legrand, J.P., Simon, P.A.: 1991, Solar Phys. 131, 187. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  23. Li, Y.: 1997, Solar Phys. 170, 437. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. Mayaud, P.N.: 1980, Derivation, Meaning, and Use of Geomagnetic Indices. AGU Geophys. Monograph 22. Google Scholar
  25. Ohl, A.I.: 1966, Soln. Dannye 12, 84. Google Scholar
  26. Ohl, A.I.: 1971, Geomagn. Apron. 11, 549. Google Scholar
  27. Ohl, A.I., Ohl, G.I.: 1979, In: Donnelly, R.F. (ed.) Solar-Terrestrial Predictions Proceedings, NOAA/Space Environmental Laboratories, Boulder, 258. Google Scholar
  28. Schatten, K.H., Myers, D.J., Sofia, S.: 1996, Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 605. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  29. Schatten, K.H., Scherrer, P.H., Svalgaard, L., Wilcox, J.M.: 1978, Geophys. Res. Lett. 5, 411. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  30. Shastri, S.: 1998, Solar Phys. 180, 499. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  31. Simon, P.A., Legrand, J.P.: 1992, Solar Phys. 141, 391. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  32. Svalgaard, L.: 1977, In: Zirker, J.B. (ed.) Coronal Holes and High Speed Wind Streams, Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder. Google Scholar
  33. Thompson, R.: 1987, IPS Technical Report IPS-TR-87-03, Sydney, Australia. Google Scholar
  34. Thompson, R.: 1993, Solar Phys. 148, 383. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  35. Thompson, R.: 1997, In: Heckman, G., Marubashi, K., Shea, M.A., Smart, D.F., Thompson, R. (eds.) Solar-Terrestrial Predictions V, Communications Research Laboratory, Tokyo, 65. Google Scholar
  36. Verdes, P.F., Parodi, M.A., Granitto, P.M., Navone, H.D., Piacentini, R.D., Ceccatto, H.A.: 2000, Solar Phys. 191, 419. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  37. Wilson, P.R.: 1994, Solar and Stellar Activity Cycles, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Chap. 14. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wilson, R.M., Hathaway, D.H., Reichmann, E.J.: 1998a, J. Geophys. Res. 103, 6595. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  39. Wilson, R.M., Hathaway, D.H., Reichmann, E.J.: 1998b, J. Geophys. Res. 103, 17411. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilson, R.M., Hathaway, D.H.: 2008, On the Period-Amplitude and Amplitude-Period Relationships, NASA Technical Report NASA/TP-2008-215580. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radio and Atmospheric Sciences DivisionNational Physical LaboratoryNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations