weak solar cycles dalton minimum
© unknown

There is another way of looking at solar cycles.

Solar cycles actually start with the magnetic reversal near the peak of the previous cycle. The sunspots take seven years to surface and become visible. Almost all sunspot cycles tend to be about 18.5 years long, measured from the peak of the previous cycle.

The above graph compares the average of three cycles, 21 to 23, from the late 20th century with three, 14 to 16, from the late 19th century (which had much colder weather). Also included is Solar Cycle 5, the first half of the Dalton Minimum.

Given we are now 103 months from the peak of Solar Cycle 23, it is now too late to get a late 19th century-type outcome for Solar Cycle 24. Out of the 24 named solar cycles, Solar Cycle 24 is now the latest after Solar Cycle 5.

Comment: In other words, in October 2008, solar cycle 24 has so delayed itself in its onset that its behavior is now only rivaled by the Dalton Minimum.

It is so late that it is now in no man's land and its weakness is now more of a consideration than lateness in itself.

It is certain that we will be getting a Dalton Minimum-type experience.

David Archibald