Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

backlit-stratus-clouds-2013-04-05.jpg

Blog

Weather forecasting, detailed weather analysis and climate information

Filtering by Category: Space Events

11:40 AM | *The quietest sun since 2009*

Paul Dorian

The sun is blank today for the 15th straight day which is the longest stretch without sunspots since November 2009 when the sun was emerging from the deepest solar minimum in a century. This year the sun has been blank 52% of the time which is the most in a given year since the 71% that took place in 2009. The last solar minimum actually reached a nadir in 2008 when an astounding 73% of the year featured a spotless sun - the most spotless days in a given year since 1913 - and the longest consecutive streak in 2008 reached 52 days according to spaceweather.com. All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum may even be even quieter than the last one. One of the natural consequences of low solar activity is the weakening of the solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows for the intensification of cosmic rays and easier access to Earth.  In addition, there tends to be a drop in total solar irradiance with the approach of a solar minimum.

Read More

11:50 AM | *Solar cycle 24 declining even more quickly than forecast*

Paul Dorian

Solar cycle 24 is rapidly approaching the next solar minimum and while the sun currently has three sunspots region visible to Earth, much of the year has seen a spotless sun.  In fact, the sun has been blank on 73 days in 2018 which amounts to 57% of the year.  The last time the sun was this blank in a given year on a percentage basis was 2009 during the last solar minimum when 71% of the time was spotless. That last solar minimum actually reached a nadir in 2008 when an astounding 73% of the year featured a spotless sun - the most spotless days in a given year since 1913. The current solar cycle is the 24th solar cycle since 1755 when extensive record-keeping of sunspot activity began and it on pace to be the weakest sunspot cycle since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906. As a result of the last unusually long and deep solar minimum and very weak bounce back during solar cycle 24’s maximum phase, much attention will be focused on the rapidly approaching solar minimum and subsequent solar cycle #25 to see if the sun may be entering an extended period of quiet.

Read More

2:25 PM | *Lyrid meteor shower peaks late tomorrow night/early Sunday*

Paul Dorian

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher, the source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. This particular meteor shower has been seen each April for more than 2600 years making it one of the oldest known meteor showers. If forecasters are correct, April’s top meteor shower will peak late tomorrow night with 10 to 20 meteors visible per hour. The best time to look for the meteors is between 11 pm on Saturday night and sunrise on Sunday. In the Northern Hemisphere, Lyra will rise in the northeastern sky in the early evening and move nearly directly overhead during the night. Skies should be clear-to-partly cloudy in the Mid-Atlantic region, but it’ll be pretty cold with temperatures likely in the 30’s.

Read More

11:35 AM | *Historic solar minimum fast approaching…sun is blank already for 51st day in 2018*

Paul Dorian

The sun is blank today for the 10th straight day and it has been without sunspots this year more than half the time as the current solar cycle (#24) heads towards the next solar minimum. The last time the sun was this blank in a given year on a percentage basis was 2009 during the last solar minimum when 71% of the time was spotless. That last solar minimum actually reached a nadir in 2008 when an astounding 73% of the year featured a spotless sun - the most spotless days in a given year since 1913. All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century.  One of the natural consequences of low solar activity is the weakening of the solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows for the intensification of cosmic rays and easier access to Earth.

Read More

10:15 AM | *Cosmic rays continue to intensify as historic solar minimum approaches*

Paul Dorian

The sun is blank today for the 10th straight day and it has been without sunspots this year more than half the time as the current solar cycle heads towards the next solar minimum. Solar cycle 24 is currently on pace to be the weakest sunspot cycle with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906. Solar cycle 24 continues a recent trend of weakening solar cycles which began with solar cycle 21 that peaked around 1980. The last time the sun was this blank in a given year on a percentage basis was 2009 during the last solar minimum when 71% of the time was spotless. That last solar minimum actually reached a nadir in 2008 when an astounding 73% of the year featured a spotless sun - the most spotless days in a given year since 1913.

All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum which is expected to begin in 2019 may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century. One of the natural impacts of decreasing solar activity is the weakening of the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows more and more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system.  The intensification of cosmic rays can have important consequences on such things as Earth’s cloud cover and climate, the safety of our astronauts exploring in space, and lightning.  

Read More

12:25 PM | *Lunar eclipse next week coincides with a blue moon and a supermoon*

Paul Dorian

There will be a “partial” lunar eclipse next week in the eastern US (“total” eclipse in the rest of the country) and it coincide with a blue moon and supermoon in an event that hasn’t happened in over 150 years. These three lunar events are not uncommon, but it is rare for them to occur at the same time. The eclipse will take place early in the morning on Wednesday, January 31 and it will be somewhat of a challenge for viewers in the eastern US as the moon will be about to set in the western sky and the sky will be getting lighter in the east.

Read More

3:00 PM | *Historically quiet sun headed towards next solar minimum*

Paul Dorian

Solar cycle 24 has turned out to be historically weak with the lowest number of sunspots since cycle 14 peaked more than a century ago in 1906 and by some measures, it is the third weakest since regular observations began around 1755.  This historically weak solar cycle continues a weakening trend in solar irradiance output since solar cycle 21 peaked around 1980 and the sun is fast-approaching the next solar minimum. The last solar minimum lasted from 2008 to 2009 and the sun was as quiet during that time as it has been since 1978. The sun is likely to enter the next solar minimum phase within three years or so. The sun has been spotless for 26% of the time in 2017 (90 days) and the blank look should increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading into the next solar minimum.

Read More

1:10 PM | *JPSS-1 polar-orbiting weather satellite set to launch on Wednesday*

Paul Dorian

Weather satellite data is critical to the accuracy of computer forecast models used by forecasters and the JPSS-1 polar orbiter – now set to launch on Wednesday at 4:47 AM (ET) - will be extremely valuable in that regard. The launch of NOAA’s next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellite was set for today at Vandenberg AFB, but was scrubbed due to a late launch vehicle alarm. The satellite is sitting atop the Delta II rocket that will take it into space early on Wednesday.

Read More

9:30 AM | *Sun goes blank again as it heads towards next minimum...low solar activity could play an important role in the upcoming winter season*

Paul Dorian

The sun is blank again today and this marks the 70th day of the year in which there have been no visible sunspots which makes up nearly a quarter of the time in 2017.  Historically weak solar cycle 24 continues to transition away from its solar maximum phase and towards the next solar minimum. The last solar minimum was historically long and deep lasting from 2008 to 2010. The blank look to the sun will increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading up to the next solar minimum - probably to be reached in late 2019 or 2020. By one measure, the current solar cycle is the third weakest since record keeping began in 1755 and it continues a weakening trend since solar cycle 21 peaked in 1980.  One of the impacts of low solar activity is the increase of cosmic rays that can penetrate into the Earth’s upper atmosphere and this, in turn, can impact clouds on Earth.  In addition, there is reason to believe that low solar activity can play an important role in winter weather conditions in the central and eastern US as it is well-correlated with more frequent "high-latitude blocking" events.  

Read More

2:15 PM | *Uranus visible tonight...meteor shower this weekend...Saturn early next week*

Paul Dorian

The seventh planet from the sun, Uranus, will actually reach its closest point of the year tonight in its orbit to Earth as it “reaches opposition” (i.e., directly opposite the sun).  As a result, the icy planet will be visible as a blue-green dot tonight through binoculars and perhaps even with the naked eye if you’re in a dark location.  

Read More