Dr. Sten Odenwald, a retired astronomer and educator formerly with the National Institute of Aerospace and NASA writing in the Huffington Post. He concludes his sunspot article, Waiting For The Next Sunspot Cycle 2019-2030, with this view forward:
Statistically speaking, the current Cycle 24 is scheduled to draw to a close about 11 years after the previous sunspot minimum in January 2008, which means sometime in 2019. We entered the Cycle 24 sunspot minimum period in 2016 because in February and June, we already had two spot-free days. As the number of spot-free days continues to increase in 2017-2018, we will start seeing the new sunspots of Cycle 25 appear sometime in late-2019. Sunspot maximum is likely to occur in 2024, with most forecasts predicting about half as many sunspots as in Cycle 24.
The bad news is that some studies show sunspot magnetic field strengths have been declining since 2000 and are already close to the minimum needed to sustain sunspots on the solar surface. This is also supported by independent work in 2015 published in the journal Nature. By Cycle 25 or 26, magnetic fields may be too weak to punch through the solar surface and form recognizable sunspots at all, spelling the end of the sunspot cycle phenomenon, and the start of another Maunder Minimum cooling period perhaps lasting until 2100.
But the good news seems to be that none of the current forecasts suggest Cycle 25 will be entirely absent. A few forecasts even hold out some hope that a sunspot maximum equal to or greater than Cycle 24 is possible.
Full article is HERE: