Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, told a webinar in late April that evidence is
suggesting that we may be entering a "grand solar minimum," or
extended period of low sunspot activity. But he says he is not convinced that
we're heading for another "Maunder minimum," a 70-year period of few
or no sunspots in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
According to the ARRL Letter
Luetzelschwab told a webinar sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators
Foundation that "It sure looks like something inside the sun changed
around the peak of Cycle 23," and that several weak cycles may lie ahead.
However, he noted that many factors are involved in forecasting future solar
activity and its impact on radio propagation, adding that "we need to
gather some really good data" over the next decade to get a better picture
of what may lie ahead.