Predicting the start and maximum amplitude of solar cycle 24 using similar phases and a cycle grouping
We find that the solar cycles 9, 11, and 20 are similar to cycle 23 in their respective descending phases. Using this similarity and the observed data of smoothed monthly mean sunspot numbers (SMSNs) available for the descending phase of cycle 23, we make a date calibration for the average time sequence made of the three descending phases of the three cycles, and predict the start of March or April 2008 for cycle 24. For the three cycles, we also find a linear correlation of the length of the descending phase of a cycle with the difference between the maximum epoch of this cycle and that of its next cycle. Using this relationship along with the known relationship between the rise-time and the maximum amplitude of a slowly rising solar cycle, we predict the maximum SMSN of cycle 24 of 100.2±7.5 to appear during the period from May to October 2012.
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