Cold Spain, Cyprus And Eastern Europe; SSW Update; + Scientists Use Artificial Intelligence To Forecast Sunspot Cycles

Cold Spain, Cyprus And Eastern Europe

Despite the calls for a ‘no show winter’, swathes of Europe have held anomalously-cold since the turn of the year.

January 2023 in Spain, for example, had an average temperature of 5.9C (42.6F), which is below the multidecadal average.

Temperature anomalies map comes courtesy of Aemet.

The cold has also swept the likes of Cyprus, Greece and Italy, where it is still being felt into February.

Chromio, Cyprus –near Mount Olympus– recently plunged to -12C (10.4F) which is just 0.6C off of breaking the national record, according to the Cyprus Department of Meteorology. A chilly -11C was logged at Troodos Mountain — a new all-time low for the locale.

It has been bitingly cold across Eastern Europe in recent weeks, culminating in the recent -31.9C (-25.4F) posted in Turkey, the -31.1C (-24F) in Romania, -30C (-22F) in Montenegro, -24C (-11.2F) in Serbia.

Looking ahead, much of Europe is forecast a reprieve from the freeze this week, with concerns turning to that developing SSW…

SSW Update

The Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event first discussed Friday is progressing as forecast.

The event is set to deliver a full-blown reversal of the Zonal winds through the second half of February, with any impacts on our Lower Tropospheric weather due into March.

Below is an updated pressure and temperature forecast for the middle Stratosphere this week.

Clearly visible is that strong stratospheric warming wave advancing across the Polar regions, which is weakening the Polar Vortex via a reversing of the circulation and effectively forcing it out of the North Pole.

In other words, the stratospheric Polar Vortex is breaking down.


Such a Stratospheric event will impact lower atmospheric levels — the question is to what extent.

Based on first indications this is setting up to be a full-blown breakdown of the stratospheric circulation meaning we should expect a strong impact on the lower troposhere (where our weather happens), likely by early-March.

Arctic outbreaks and the anomalous cold and increased snowfalls they deliver are typical of such events, with history informing us that the worst hit regions are typically the eastern United States, northern Russia and Europe.

Much is left to be determined, however, so stay tuned for updates.

Scientists Use Artificial Intelligence To Forecast Sunspot Cycles

[Below is an abridged version of an article originally posted on the now censored/’vanished’]

Scientists have used artificial intelligence to predict sunspots looking forward AND also correct the incomplete record of the past.

paper published in Advances in Space Research by Dr Victor Velasco Herrera, a theoretical physicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Dr Willie Soon, an award-winning solar astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; and Professor David Legates, a climatologist at the University of Delaware and former director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, predicts that the new 11-year solar cycle that has recently begun will show near-record low sunspot activity that will last until mid-century.

Sunspots Matter

When there are many sunspots, i.e. when the Sun is active, there is a danger that a strong solar ejection directed towards the Earth could damage or even destroy the thousands of satellites on which the world depends for everything — from radio, telephone, television and internet communications to monitoring the climate and observing the farthest reaches of the universe.

Worse, a very strong solar storm could damage the largely unshielded terrestrial electricity grid. Most power lines and transformers are above ground and thus acutely vulnerable. Solar panels, too, could have their lives shortened by intense solar radiation.

The three scientists taught a machine-learning algorithm how to recognize underlying patterns and cycles in the past 320 years’ sunspot record.

The algorithm then discovered a hitherto-unnoticed interaction between the 5.5-year solar half-cycles (blue) and the 120-year Gleissberg double cycles (red dotted lines–as shown in the figure below) which allowed it to confirm the earlier predictions of a quiet half-century to come — predictions which are now shared by solar physicists.

That interaction between the two periodicities led the algorithm to indicate that from the 1730s to the 1760s, early in the modern sunspot record (the gray band), sunspots appear to have been under-recorded: as the 120-year cycle approached its maximum amplitude, sunspots should have been more numerous than reported at the time.

Periods of minimum and maximum solar activity from 1700 to 2020 analyzed by machine learning.

The algorithm then predicted the sunspots from 2021 to 2100.

It suggests that the current low solar activity is likely to continue until 2050:

The Sun may be quiet for half a century.

Dr Soon said: “The machine-learning algorithm, with its interesting interplay between the very short 5.5-year cycle and the long 120-year cycle, confirms our results of 10-15 years ago suggesting that the next three or four solar cycles will be comparatively inactive. This is the first time that the twin problems of hindcasting incomplete past records and forecasting the future have been combined in a single analysis.”

Dr Legates said: “Given the history of previous periods of comparative solar activity, the weather may get a little cooler between now and 2050. If we are right, our electricity grids and our satellites should be safe until then.”

You can download the new paper HERE.

The Sun painted by a machine-learning algorithm in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

I, personally, feel that what we’re currently seeing with solar cycle (25)–i.e. daily sunspot numbers firing around the 200 mark–is ‘death throes’, with the cycle spitting out a final burst of energy before an earlier-than-forecast peak followed by a steady and uneventful demise — a fizzling out.

It has long-been my contention that cycle 26 is where the real ‘fun’ begins, where a stark drop in activity correlates with a sharp drop in global temperatures… but we may not need to wait that long.

If SC25 ends comparable to SC24–the weakest cycle in more than a century–as is looking likely, then we will already be well on our way to posting an extended Minimum period, one comparable to the Dalton Minimum where global temps plunged -2C in less than 20 years, with a deeper, full-blown GRAND Solar Minimum still potentially in the offing.

Time will tell, of course. But note that global temperatures are already (as of Jan 2023) down 0.75C from their 2016 peak, and another 1.25C decrease isn’t all that hard to imagine, particularly considering the cumulative effects of the historically low solar activity we’ve been experiencing since the early-2000s, which continue to mount.

And lastly, for those thinking that this recent uptick in output means Solar Cycle 25 is unusually-strong and is firing above its predecessor, think again: The latest ‘solar cycles comparison’ chart (Feb 13), courtesy of, paints a clear picture…

Solar Cycle 25 progression (green line) compared to 24, 23, 22 & 21 [updated Feb 13, 2023 —]