Extreme Weather GSM 

Weather and Sunspots: 1976 vs 2018

Solar activity is the main driver of weather on our planet.

For 400 years an accurate sunspot record has been kept, allowing us to draw tentative patterns between the sun’s output and weather on Earth.

The UK’s hot summer of 2018 had forecasters comparing it to 1976, the last time comparable temperatures and a prolonged drought occurred.

The below chart perhaps offers an explanation.

Solar Cycles www.electroverse.netThe sun runs on 11-year cycles with a solar maximum and a solar minimum within each cycle.

Looking at the chart, we see 1976 falls directly off the back of Solar Cycle 20 — a weak cycle of relatively low solar output.

Forwarding to 2018, we see ourselves landing directly off the back of Solar Cycle 24 — the next weak cycle since 20 — with cycles 21, 22 and 23 resulting in the peak of the Modern Maximum and the warm temperatures and predictable weather patterns we became accustomed to.

Some forecasts see Cycle 24 as the start of the next Grand Solar Minimum (a prolonged period of reduced solar output), with all forecasts (that incorporate solar activity) agreeing that the next few NH winters will be brutal ones, beginning this year.

After the UK’s intense heat of the summer of 1976 came the brutal winters of 1977/78/79. North America also recorded one of its worst winters ever in 1978. It’s no coincidence these came off the back of a weak solar cycle.

Weather extremes will become the norm again as we move on from the Modern Maximum (21, 22 and 23) and plunge deeper into the next Grand Solar Minimum.

Humans are programmed to recognise cycles, and the sun is one of the most ancient cycles going.

It runs like clockwork.

The cold times are coming.



Read also:

‘Blocking High’ to Bring Heavy Snow to the UK — Grand Solar Minimum

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2 Thoughts to “Weather and Sunspots: 1976 vs 2018”

  1. Jamie Saavedra

    Hello ,
    Great Article! It rained a lot in SO CAL 1978 we don’t have Indian Summers anymore in Cali.but thank you for your hard work and dedication.

    Best Regards,

  2. Sam Walker

    One thing to note is that, although weak, solar cycle 20 had significantly more months of activity over 150 and that the sunspot average of those days when above 150 was higher than the average days above 150 for SC 24.

    This brings up the question- since the peak of SC20 basically added more heat to the atmosphere and oceans than the peak of SC24, does that mean we will have even colder winters? We may not see this effect until the drop off from SC 25 due to the amount of heat absorbed during SC 21, 22, and 23. But on the other hand SC 18 and 19 were close to the modern maximum, so the difference in the heat reserve may be less than one might think.

    Will be an interesting next couple of winters.

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