“Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots”NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel
The NOAA/NASA-co-chaired international Solar Cycle Prediction Panel has released its latest forecast for Cycle 25 and the panel’s consensus calls for a peak in July 2025 (±8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number of 115. The panel agreed that Cycle 25 will be of average intensity and similar to Cycle 24.
Similar to Cycle 24 isn’t good news for HF communications — unless you were expecting it to be much worse. The panel went out of its way to say there was no indication of an approaching “Maunder-type” minimum but did acknowledge that the new Cycle will be the fourth consecutive declining Solar Cycle.
Assuming the panel has read the tea leaves properly, the next opportunity for what most of us would consider a more “normal” solar maximum probably won’t arrive until around 2039 when I’m 80 years-old — assuming I’m still around.
Unnecessary, but I’d say that vindicates my decision to migrate from HF in search of new radio adventure at much higher frequencies.