Cycle 24 Disastrous for Hams

The sun is currently in the peak year of its 11-year solar weather cycle scientists say.

This year’s solar maximum will probably be the weakest in 100 years and the next one could be even worse.┬áThe sun is currently at the maximum of Solar Cycle 24, but as this graph shows, there are far fewer sunspots during this peak than there have been in past cycles.

Cycle 24 in July 2013

Cycle 24 in July 2013

Solar Cycle 24 has been underway since 2011 and its peak was expected in 2013, but there have been fewer sunspots observed this year compared with the maximums of the last several cycles. The stage is set for an even smaller maximum during Cycle 25 around 2025.

A small Cycle 24 also fits the 100-year pattern of building and waning solar cycles as witnessed by scientists during the weak solar cycles at the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries.

DX is always there. Even in the low times of the sunspot cycles. It’s just that you will have to be a bit more cunning to work it

I cannot remember a longer, more tedious cycle than this one and it’s the sixth one I have been in since 1958 although I did manage to catch the end of grand daddy of them all which started in 1948 and finished in 1952. The first big one for me was 1959-1961 when you could work the world on 10 metres day after day with low power. Sometimes the band was open 24 hours. This latest Cycle 24, except for a a few good bursts last year has been a big disappointment.

I will stress again that the DX is always there. Especially when a contest occurs, they all come out of the woodwork!

And that’s DXing folks!

73, Lee ZL2AL