Cold winters and sunspots in central England

Solar minimum (yellow vertical bands) and winter [DJF] CET anomalies

Meanwhile, the sun is in a new solar weather cycle, solar cycle 25. This cycle started around 9 months ago and at this stage can be associated with colder winter weather.  

The Met Office

I was surprised to read that the Met Office said in one of their news blogs this week that colder winters can be associated with the start of a new sunspot cycle. Solar cycle 25 started last December, so I decided to see if there was any truth in the matter for the UK by looking at winters [DJF] in the central England temperature series since 1772. I have not gone into any sophisticated analysis here and have simply overlaid yellow vertical bands for the years either side of the start/end of a new cycle on a bar chart of mean temperature anomalies for each winter. As you can see from this list of solar cycles, it’s not at all cut and dried, with only 50% of winters in the last 250 years being below average at the time of a sunspot minimum. I’ll repeat the analysis with global boreal winter temperatures to see if there’s any effect on a larger scale. I still haven’t found any research on the subject of sunspot minima and temperature but I’m sure they must be some out there.

  • 3 Yes
  • 4 Yes
  • 5 Yes
  • 6 Yes
  • 7 No
  • 8 No
  • 9 Partial
  • 10 Yes
  • 11 No
  • 12 Yes
  • 13 Yes
  • 14 Partial
  • 15 No
  • 16 Partial
  • 17 Partial
  • 18 Partial
  • 19 Yes
  • 20 Partial
  • 21 Yes
  • 22 Partial
  • 23 Partial
  • 24 Yes
  • 25 ?
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