On the Cusp of the Next Grand Minimum?


One of the signs that we are on the cusp of the Next Grand Minimum is an increase in the number late spring frosts and early on set of winter frost and snow.

The Bonsetreporting world wine production ‘to hit 50-year low due to extreem weather, even though they failed to mention it was due to severe spring frost.

Here are estimates of the drops in wine production by country:

• Italian production will fall 23% to 39.3 million hectolitres.

• French production will drop 19% to 36.7 million hectolitres … its worst harvest since 1945.

• Spanish production will be 15% lower at 33.5 million hectolitres.

• A hectolitre is 100 litres, equivalent to about 133 standard 750mL bottles.

The BBC may blame ‘extreme weather,’ but back in August the French agriculture minister presented a more honest picture, saying that the losses were “mainly attributable to the severe spring frost.”

Bitter cold struck twice within a week in April, ravaging fragile shoots and buds.

Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Hungary also experienced hard frosts this year, and were worried that wine harvests could fall by 30%, even up to 60% in some areas.

H/T to Ice Age Now

Waiting for the early winter cold. Stay tuned.


12 thoughts on “On the Cusp of the Next Grand Minimum?

  1. The Atmosphere Guy November 22, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    Assessing the Ap index for November, it looks like being around Ap=10.
    Assessing the likelihood of a drop to, say, 2010 levels appears very low; a December level of around 8/9 appears probable this year compared to Ap=2 – 4 for those cold years. This arises as result of the ‘non-spot’ related activity we are seeing at present. Although spots are increasingly vanishing, coronal hole activity has not done so – at least so far.
    This would imply that the atmospheric steering level would not drop to latitudes associated with the ‘Snowmaggedon’ situation of that era. This winter is likely to be cold, but not extreme, although a repeat of the ‘Deep Loop’ situation that gave rise to the late frosts can’t be ruled out.
    This might be putting the head above the parapet, but see how it works out !

    • Russ Steele November 23, 2017 / 9:33 am

      I have been watch Joe Bastardi’s winter forecast at Weather Bell, it seems to be in conflict with your prediction. It will be interesting to see the final result.

  2. The Atmosphere Guy November 24, 2017 / 2:56 am

    I would agree, absolutely, with Joe Bastardi based on the advance of the snow line over both US and Europe this season. However we have an interesting conflict. While Sunspot activity and all that goes with it has been declining rapidly, non-spot activity and associated geo impacts have remained stubbornly high.
    These ‘K’ impacts can interfere with the seasonal progress of the atmospheric profile, stalling or even pushing it back in places. This can give rise to a conflict between winter progress over cold – usually continental – areas and ‘push-back’ over warmer – usually oceanic – areas, resulting in the ‘deep loop structure’ as Europe experienced this spring.
    Coverage of that here –
    https://howtheatmosphereworks.wordpress.com/solar-activity-and-surface-climate/storm-analysis/about/observations-3/ – under Jan/Feb 2017.
    The challenge is to predict the K and Ap indices and make a guesstimate of the result at ground level.
    Lay yer money and roll the dice !

    • The Atmosphere Guy January 7, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      NOAA rounded the data to November Ap=11, December Ap=8.
      The anticipated ‘deep loop’ scenario gave serious cold to South and East continental USA, less serious to Europe.
      The real problems will arise when the Ap index is seen to remain in the 1 to 3 region for any extended period. This allows the atmospheric profile to contract, pulling the jet stream ‘steering levels’ equatorward. Risk points will be at the Solstices.

      • The Atmosphere Guy January 25, 2018 / 10:40 am

        The Ap index for January looks like being around Ap=5/6. That for February around Ap=5 with a significant dip early in the month.
        This gives us an interesting scenario: Whilst the sunspot data has declined rapidly over recent years ( refer NOAA Solar Cycle progression Data), The Ap progression data has actually been steady, even increasing (although relatively low on the decadal scale). It now shows signs of going into rapid decline and there seems to be little in the solar behaviour data that would indicate potential for reversal of this.
        If the decline continues, the potential for a very reluctant northward shift in the atmospheric profile seems likely. This may give us a repeat of the 2009/10 scenario.
        Second week in February seems likely to be very cold over Europe, how deep, how persistent is difficult to tell at this point.
        Relevant to note that Tokyo is experiencing some record overnight low temperatures.

      • Russ Steele February 21, 2018 / 1:14 pm

        Been following Joe Bastardi at Weather Bell and he is predicting some real cold in Eastern US and Europe.

  3. Gabriel December 28, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Russ, it seems the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia has indicated the solar cycle 24 may have already been over. A shortage of the cycles period is coherent with grand minima periods like Maunder’s.

    • Russ Steele December 31, 2017 / 9:23 pm

      I need to check the data on the cycle end. Can you share more information on short cycles relationship to grand minima?

      • Russ Steele December 31, 2017 / 9:35 pm

        I looked at the chart, looks like we have reached the end of Cycle 24.

  4. Gabriel January 1, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle:

    ‘It was first thought that 28 cycles had spanned the 309 years between 1699 and 2008, giving an average length of 11.04 years, but recent research has showed that the longest of these (1784–1799) seems actually to have been two cycles, meaning that one of the two had to have lasted less than 8 years.’

    That means at least one of the Dalton Minimum cycles was quite shorter than 11 years.

    Previous information and all these remarks on this subject may be found (in Portuguese language) at the blog
    https://sandcarioca.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/o-ciclo-solar-24-atinge-o-minimo-um-ano-e-meio-antes-do-esperado/ .

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