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Paper: Does the Current Minimum Validate (or Invalidate) Cycle Prediction Methods?
Volume: 428, SOHO-23: Understanding a Peculiar Solar Minimum
Page: 307
Authors: Hathaway, D. H.
Abstract: This deep, extended solar minimum and the slow start to Cycle 24 strongly suggest that Cycle 24 will be a small cycle. A wide array of solar cycle prediction techniques have been applied to predicting the amplitude of Cycle 24 with widely different results. Current conditions and new observations indicate that some highly regarded techniques now appear to have doubtful utility. Geomagnetic precursors have been reliable in the past and can be tested with 12 cycles of data. Of the three primary geomagnetic precursors only one (the minimum level of geomagnetic activity) suggests a small cycle. The Sun’s polar field strength has also been used to successfully predict the last three cycles. The current weak polar fields are indicative of a small cycle. For the first time, dynamo models have been used to predict the size of a solar cycle but with opposite predictions depending on the model and the data assimilation. However, new measurements of the surface meridional flow indicate that the flow was substantially faster on the approach to Cycle 24 minimum than at Cycle 23 minimum. In both dynamo predictions a faster meridional flow should have given a shorter cycle 23 with stronger polar fields. This suggests that these dynamo models are not yet ready for solar cycle prediction.
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