The last time the Ap index was this low was 1933. The December 2008 Ap value of 2, released by SWPC yesterday, has never been this low. Further, the trend from October 2005 continues to decline after being on a fairly level plateau for two years. It has started a decline again in the last year.
This Ap index is a proxy that tells us that the sun is now quite inactive, and the other indices of sunspot index and 10.7 radio flux also confirm this. The sun is in a full blown funk, and your guess is as good as mine as to when it might pull out of it. So far, predictions by NOAA’s SWPC and NASA’s Hathway have not been near the reality that is being measured.
The starting gate for solar cycle 24 opened ayear ago today, when I announced the first ever cycle 24 sunspot. However in the year since, it has become increasingly clear that the horse hasn’t left the gate, and may very well be lame.