Dr Tony Phillips, Nasa Spaceweather reports that so far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time with whole weeks going by without sunspots. The second graphic from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun without sunspots. The current solar cycle 24 is coming to an end. NOAA`s Space Weather Prediction Center April 26th shows observed sunspot numbers in blue with the official forecast in red.
The first graphic shows the sunspot number progression. The actual monthly sunspot number is significantly lower than the predicted number.. The official forecast comes from Noaa`s Solar Cycle Prediction Panel. (acknowledgements to Anthony Watts of WUWT). we are faced with a "cold" sun. The last time the sunspots on the sun disappeared was the Mauder Minimum of the 17th century when the earth temperature dropped significantly. (a coming ice age?).