Articles GSM 

40 Spotless Days and Counting… how does that compare historically?

Today marks the sun’s 40th consecutive spotless day. This means earth’s host star has now been blank for 277 days in 2019 so far (or 78%) — a new Space Age Record.

During periods of low solar activity, such as the deep solar minimum we’re in now, the Sun will often be devoid of sunspots–a great barometer for the depth and longevity of solar minima.

And there’s now no escaping it, our toes appear to be firmly submerged in beginning of another Grand Solar Minimum cycle, with Monday, December 23 delivering the sun’s 40th consecutive spotless day.

But how does that compare historically?


SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

The 2008-2009 solar minimum was the deepest in almost 90 years, and looking at SILSO’s table above, the minimum’s 32 spotless day run between 31 July & 31 Aug, 2009 is down as one of longest since daily solar observations began in 1849, with the 31 days run between 21 July & 20 Aug, 2008 resting just behind it.

Now though, 2019’s stretch of 40 blank suns has comfortably surpassed those totals, and is in the top ten (the run will be added to the above table once ended).

Furthermore, 2019’s stretch is bearing down on the 42 days observed in 1996, and also isn’t far off totals from the late 1800s/early 1900s — a period know as the Centennial/Glassberg Minimum although it still has a way to go to usurp 1913’s record of 92 consecutive spotless days.


SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels.

The above chart shows the number of spotless days per year since 1849.

There are 114 years (including 2019) with at least 1 spotless day, of which 25 years have recorded 151 or more spotless days.

1913 is the record holder with a staggering 311 days, while 2019 already ranks second with its spotless run of 277 days-and counting, 2008 now ranks fifth, 2009 sixth, and 2018 sixteenth (again, the table will be updated once 2019’s run comes to an end).

By all indications, solar activity will continue to fall off the cliff in 2020, with the year having a good chance of surpassing both 1913’s records for 1) consecutive spotless days (92), plus 2) its overall total of blank suns in a calendar year (311).

Changing Jet Stream

Low solar activity has been found to deliver intensifying swings-in-extremes in our global weather — its weakening/breakdown of the jet stream drives more of a wavy meridional flow which, depending on what side of the jet stream you’re on, delivers either debilitating polar cold or anomalous tropical heat:

Though regardless of what side of the jet stream you’re on, both of these setups negatively impact crop production. We’re already witnessing dramatic falls in yield and quality across the breadbaskets of the world — the price of wheat, for example, is now at a four-and-a-half year high, and rising fast.

An intensification of this meridional flow is in all of our futures, and the phenomenon isn’t caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels — if anything, more carbon dioxide is having a beneficial affect as the trace gas has been shown to increase plant growth (NASA).

No, it isn’t you or me that’s causing this climate shift, it’s the sun — as it always has been:

Overall, global average temperatures are falling, and will continue to fall, in line with this historically low solar activity. However, heatwaves will always still occur –the evidence suggests they could even become more extreme– although the waves will be short lived and/or localized to regions residing ‘under’ the JS.

Please don’t fall for NOAA’s/the BOM’s politicized, warm-mongering, UHI-ignoring temperature datasets — our future is one of ever-descending cold, of crop loss, and struggle.

Prepare accordingly — grow your own.

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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift

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4 Thoughts to “40 Spotless Days and Counting… how does that compare historically?”

  1. Sam

    Right now we are pretty much in line with the activity during the lows of centennial minimums. Still too early to call this a GSM. Let’s see how far it stretches into 2020.

    Makes me smile, because at the end of 2018 I told Ben at SO, and Diamond at OR that we wouldn’t pullout until the end of 1029 at the earliest and more likely the minimum would continue into 2020.

    Both of them thought I was wrong, but I’d based that on some examination of past minimums and saw a repeating pattern.

  2. Dan S. shows 52 spotless days in a row as of 23-Dec-2019. How can the number be so far off?

  3. Tom

    CalSky has it as 50 days without sunspots. Which is it?

  4. Bob

    Don’t forget – to be a Maunder-like minimum, the sun has to also be spotless at the maximum. In other words, the cycles have to vanish altogether. It is looking at best Dalton-like, and probably not even that.

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