Will Cycle 24 Break Record Sunspot Count?

Count of 208 was recorded 9 November 2011
Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) Image
North American Polar Paths To Europe And Japan 

Good afternoon from the Shell Beach shack after a winter’s morning rain shower leaving behind a partly cloudy sky with a temperature nearing 55 degrees plus or minus a few degrees.

Right now, I’m listening on 15m while machines speak to machines in the mechanical language of RTTY under the control of RadioSport operators, who undoubtedly are smiling ear to ear. The pain of the chair seems less painful when Cycle 24 maybe approaching a record count?

I never paid attention to auroral data and, with critical polar paths playing a fundamental role in the success of RadioSport scores across the globe, I finally get it.

NOAA Explains
Auroral data is as important as the solar flux indice, sunspot count, and both indexes. Each measure gives a reasonable guess at what I can expect on a given RadioSport weekend as NOAA explained it this way, “Energetic auroral particles (primarily electrons) not only produce the visible aurora but also greatly influence the properties of the ionosphere and are connected with strong electrical currents (as much as several million amperes) that flow in the ionosphere and connect along the geomagnetic field to a dynamo process at high altitude in the magnetosphere.

NOAA further stated, “Thus, this same display provides a similar “best-guess” estimate of the geographic locations that may be subject to geomagnetic fluctuations that result from electrical currents flowing in the ionosphere, or the radio propagation paths that maybe degraded because of increased absorption of the radio signal by the disturbed ionosphere.

In Sum
The potential for a storm increases as the number of sunspots increase and the possibility of a record count is approaching. Although, I’m a little perplexed because I’m not hearing much CW activity given current conditions? Those RTTY operators get all the luck!

73 from my Shell Beach shack.   

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