So the 2011 surge may just have been part one of Solar Cycle 24’s fireworks display.
“I am comfortable in saying that another peak will happen in 2013 and possibly last into 2014,” Pesnell said.
If a second peak does occur in 2013, activity in the sun’s southern half might be the main driver. Our star’s northern and southern hemispheres sometimes peak at different times, researchers said, and the south has been significantly quieter than the north thus far in Solar Cycle 24.
Pesnell is a member of the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, a group of solar physicists who gathered in 2006 and 2008 to forecast the next solar maximum. Weaving together a number of lines of evidence, including Solar Cycle 24’s very deep minimum five or so years ago, the group made the following prediction:
“The panel has decided that the next solar cycle (Cycle 24) will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity, solar maximum is now expected to occur in May 2013.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/06/sun-weather-cycle-may-have-second-peak-this-year/#ixzz2MpvhjLXh