I strolled thru the history of solar cycles since I became a radio amateur in 1977. That was near the beginning of Cycle 21. I gleaned just a few tidbits that lead me to believe we are headed into the HF abyss…

  • Cycle 21 - March 1976 to September 1986 - 10.5 years
    • Maximum sunspot count 232.9
    • Spotless days 273
  • Cycle 22 - September 1986 to August 1996 - 9.9 years
    • Maximum sunspot count 212.5
    • Spotless days 309
  • Cycle 23 - August 1996 to December 2008 - 12.3 years
    • Maximum sunspot count 180.3
    • Spotless days 817
  • Cycle 24 - December 2008 - to present
    • Maximum sunspot count 81.8
    • Spotless days 489

What’s clear is that the last few solar cycles have been weak and are apparently getting weaker. This current cycle (24) is probably at least 18-24 months from handing off to Cycle 25 which means a lot more poor propagation in the days to come.

Gird your loins and ready yourself for what could be historically bad conditions at HF for the foreseeable future.