Click on the graph to get a full size view, it is also an updating image directly from the WSO as information comes to hand. But at the present it is showing a very unusual trend and a continuing low strength. How long can it stay flat for?
The Babcock-Leighton theory suggests the poles get their strength from random "flows" that happen to make their way from their original sunspot position to the poles. Others still suggest this buildup of strength is then used in the next cycle. This theory has little previous data to support its claim and has problems explaining SC20, if we do indeed experience a solar grand minimum during SC24, the theory will be trash.. My thoughts are the pole strength is the end result of Dynamo activity that is shaped by Angular Momentum, the power comes from within not from the poles and the graph is a representation of the cycle itself.
The above graph is suggesting that we still don't have a lot of flux flowing towards the poles. The Sun is in a Funk, I wouldn't be surprised if this measure turns out to be the most important pin up graph of the grand minimum.
UPDATE: Feb 14, 2010.
The pole strength is measured at both poles independently and the data is also graphed separately on the WSO site. There is an interesting trend happening with the Southern Hemisphere right now which is suggesting it is behaving differently from the Northern Hemisphere. In the graphs below it can be seen from the baselines that the North is starting to head for a polarity reversal, but as yet the south is remaining flat. This will be very interesting to watch.