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On the Importance of Cycle Minimum in Sunspot Cycle PredictionThe characteristics of the minima between sunspot cycles are found to provide important information for predicting the amplitude and timing of the following cycle. For example, the time of the occurrence of sunspot minimum sets the length of the previous cycle, which is correlated by the amplitude-period effect to the amplitude of the next cycle, with cycles of shorter (longer) than average length usually being followed by cycles of larger (smaller) than average size (true for 16 of 21 sunspot cycles). Likewise, the size of the minimum at cycle onset is correlated with the size of the cycle's maximum amplitude, with cycles of larger (smaller) than average size minima usually being associated with larger (smaller) than average size maxima (true for 16 of 22 sunspot cycles). Also, it was found that the size of the previous cycle's minimum and maximum relates to the size of the following cycle's minimum and maximum with an even-odd cycle number dependency. The latter effect suggests that cycle 23 will have a minimum and maximum amplitude probably larger than average in size (in particular, minimum smoothed sunspot number Rm = 12.3 +/- 7.5 and maximum smoothed sunspot number RM = 198.8 +/- 36.5, at the 95-percent level of confidence), further suggesting (by the Waldmeier effect) that it will have a faster than average rise to maximum (fast-rising cycles have ascent durations of about 41 +/- 7 months). Thus, if, as expected, onset for cycle 23 will be December 1996 +/- 3 months, based on smoothed sunspot number, then the length of cycle 22 will be about 123 +/- 3 months, inferring that it is a short-period cycle and that cycle 23 maximum amplitude probably will be larger than average in size (from the amplitude-period effect), having an RM of about 133 +/- 39 (based on the usual +/- 30 percent spread that has been seen between observed and predicted values), with maximum amplitude occurrence likely sometime between July 1999 and October 2000.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Wilson, Robert M. (NASA Huntsville, AL United States)
Hathaway, David H. (NASA Huntsville, AL United States)
Reichmann, Edwin J. (NASA Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1996
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.60:3648
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 19960045438.pdf STI