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The K7RA Solar Update

01/11/2019

In this reporting week, January 3-9, average daily sunspot number increased from 4.1 to 7.7. Average daily solar flux increased from 70.4 to 71.6.

Average daily planetary A index went from 9.3 to 7.4, and average mid-latitude A index went from 7.6 to 6.1.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days appears to mostly toggle between two values, 70 and 71, with one exception. Predicted solar flux is 69 on January 11-17, 70 on January 18-19, 71 on January 20 to February 2, 72 on February 3, 70 on February 4-15, and 71 on February 16-24.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 11, 8 on January 12-13, 5 on January 14, 8 on January 15-16, 5 on January 17-23, then 20, 12 and 8 on January 24-26, 5 on January 27-30, then 10, 15, 12 and 10 on January 31 through February 3, 5 on February 4-11, 12 on February 12, 5 on February 13-19, then 18, 10 and 8 on February 20-22, and 5 again on February 23-24.

 

No updated OK1HH geomagnetic forecast until January 31.

 

Back on December 7, 2018 I mentioned a new revised solar cycle prediction through the end of 2022 in the current Space Weather Highlights from NOAA, and how some aspects didn’t make sense. I hoped to see this corrected in the next monthly update, but alas the one that came out this month is unchanged, and inquiries to NOAA remain unanswered. Perhaps this is because the people who might respond are all furloughed during the federal government shutdown.

 

This report is from Mike Schaffer, KA3JAW, of Easton, Pennsylvania: “While monitoring the 11-meter Citizen Band at 7 pm EST (0015 UTC Sunday, January 6, 2019) I started to hear long distance stations along the central and southeastern states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Then I began hearing stations in Alabama, Texas that were blending in with locals with the Es MUF at 59 MHz above Washington, DC [FM18].

“At 7:34 pm EST 0034 UTC reports were coming in from central Pennsylvania [FN11] of FM broadcast stations that were skipping in and out from Melbourne and (EL98] Miami [EL95], Florida. Two minutes later, analog TV video carriers were observed on channels 2, 3, 4, 6; 55.250 to 83.25 MHz. No VHF-Hi band channel 7 [175.25 MHz] video carrier was heard.

“Then the unexpected: I heard 91.7 MHz ZHN in Nassau, Bahamas [FL15]. The MUF had even reached the top end of the band, 108 MHz.

“At 0040 UTC, if we account for space weather, the Aurora Forecast Ovation-Prime Model hemispheric power registered 36.84 GW. Solar Flux Index was 71.

“Then, from 8:36-9:05 EST (0136-0205 UTC), signals from local and semi-local stations were vaporizing while distant station’s signal strengths were becoming stronger with a fair amount of fading as the Es was heading westerly from Florida. The Es paths were north to south.

“This is when the Es MUF reached 99 MHz over Missouri [EM37]. This is the time when it seemed as if there was a focused duct over my home to all those stations mentioned above, as far west as Houston, Texas.

“A TV DXer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania [FN20] in the Lehigh Valley detected Cuban analog television channels on three and five with a baseball game in effect.”

 

[Update] - He later reported to me that he was scanning the digital TV low-band channels and something was detected on channel 5, but the video did not decode. My reply to Mike: “I suspect the non-decoded signal was KCWX running 23.7 kW effective radiated power (ERP) from Fredericksburg (north of San Antonio), Texas at a distance of 1491 miles, azimuth 250 degrees.”

 

I also received a report concerning low-frequency propagation from Arliss Thompson, W7XU, of Parker, South Dakota (be sure to check out his bio page on QRZ.com): “I'm writing to pass along a 2200-meter (136 kHz) propagation report from here in South Dakota (EN13), portions of which you may find interesting.

“While I have been monitoring 630 meters for more than a year, it was just within the past 2 weeks or so that I tuned down to 136 kHz to check out the 2200-meter band.

“I was rather surprised to copy two experimental stations in Arizona (WH2XXP and WH2XND) the first time I listened to the band. Since then, I have also copied the WSPR transmissions of stations in British Columbia, Washington, Utah, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Maine. I have also copied a CW beacon from Colorado on the band.

“What was amazing to me, however, was that on 5 January 2019 (UTC), I copied the WSPR signal from EA5DOM in grid square IM98. His signal first appeared at 0042 UTC and was then decoded again several times around 0200 UTC. Signal strength ranged from -28 to -31. The distance between our stations is approximately 7660 km.

“I later read reports of some US stations (including K9KFR in Indiana) working England on 630-meters that same evening.

“My station consists of an Elecraft K3S transceiver and a 1500-foot Beverage antenna.”

 

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for January 3 through 9, 2019 were 16, 13, 13, 12, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 7.7. 10.7 cm flux was 72.6, 71.5, 71.1, 72, 71.5, 71.3, and 71.5, with a mean of 71.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 2, 9, 15, 9, 7, 6, and 4, with a mean of 7.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 7, 11, 9, 6, 5, and 3, with a mean of 6.1.

 

 



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