As the graph above shows, sunspot values jumped up for the month of October. While they are still below normal in the grand scheme of things, my concern now is that we see a decisively warm start to winter. For an example, see the fall of 2011 in the graph above. A very similar situation unfolded- a spike in sunspot numbers in October preceded the winter of 2011-2012, and we all know how that winter actually ended up. I'm not saying this winter will be like 2011-2012, but this sunspot spike does increase the potential for a warmer winter.