Secure Site Login


The K7RA Solar Update


Solar activity increased over the last reporting week (February 8-14). Average daily sunspot number rose from 10.3 to 24, while average daily solar flux increased from 72.5 to 77.4. Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average planetary A index changing from 4.4 to 4.1, and average mid-latitude A index going from 3.6 to 3.


Predicted solar flux is 71, 70 and 69 on February 16-18, 68 on February 19-22, 69 on February 23-28, 72 on March 1, 75 on March 2-3, 78 on March 4-13, 76 on March 14-15, 72 on March 16, 70 on March 17-21, 69 on March 22-27, 72 on March 28, 75 on March 29-30, and 78 on March 31 and April 1.


Predicted planetary A index is 18, 12, 10 and 8 on February 16-19, 5 on February 20 through March 3, 8 on March 4, 5 on March 5-13, then 8, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, 10 and 8 on March 14-21, 5 on March 22-30, 8 on March 31 and 5 on April 1.


Geomagnetic activity forecast from F.K. Janda, OK1HH for the period February 16 until March 15, 2018.


“Geomagnetic field will be:

Quiet on February 26, March 10

Mostly quiet on February 19, 24-25, March 1-3, 11-13

Quiet to unsettled on February 20-23, March 5-8, 14

Quiet to active on February 17, 27-28, March 9, 15

Active to disturbed on February 16, (18, March 4)

 Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on February 19, further development cannot be predicted.


- Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.”



A new space weather video from Dr. Tamitha Skov dated February 15:


February 4 was the last day that a new sunspot appeared. Before that February 2 and January 30 each showed a new spot. The most recent day with no sunspots was February 3.


The ARRL International DX CW Contest is this weekend. See for details.


Jeff, N8II reports from West Virginia: “There has not been much happening on 15 meters again this week; very little heard from Africa or Europe. I did work EA8/DK6TR in the Canary Islands on 15-meter CW at 1548Z and South America was loud when I returned from antenna work and major rope tangle on the spool (it took more than an hour to free 90 feet of rope!).


“Fred, K6IJ/KH6, operating from big station KH6LC, was about S8 at 2145Z on 15-meter phone. I have been running a DXCC band/mode chase since last January and now have 64 countries on 160-meter CW, 90 on 80-meter CW, a surprising 92 on 30-meter CW (activity quite poor), 162 on 20-meter CW (and 142 on 20-meter phone), and despite awful conditions, last year provided 36 countries on 10-meter CW and 31 on 10-meter phone. Today, February 15, I added 8P9NX in Barbados on 80- and 160-meter CW, CU2DX in the Azores on 160-meter CW, JY4CI on 30-meter CW, MW0YDK in Wales and Z60A in Kosovo on 17-meter CW, C5DX in The Gambia on 17-meter CW, ER3MM on 20-meter CW, and J62P/39 on St Lucia on 20-meter phone. It was a very good day!


“Last night, February 14, I added CN2DF in Morocco and CT8/R7KW in the Azores on 80-meter CW, and GW3YDX on 160-meter CW. Then, after 2400Z, I worked J6/KG9N on St Lucia and LA5HE in Norway on 160-meter CW at 0058Z, and KP4EE at 0230Z on 40-meter CW. I was not very tired at 0430Z, so I went to the shack and worked 160-meter CW, finding OH2BO in Finland with a booming signal. Then, I decided to try CQs with my not-so-mighty 200W. There were no answers after 3 tries, so I spotted myself on the DX Cluster and started the best run of Europeans I have ever had on 160!


“I was called by YU4DX, in Serbia, RA2FV in Kaliningrad, two 3-area Russians as well as Germany, Sweden, Greece, Finland and Latvia. All were excellent copy except for RD3R. Then, I added two more new ones on 160-meter CW: V31YN in Belize and EU7A in Belarus.


“Conditions on 20-meters are very good to Europe every day with Russia fading out by 1500Z and not much left after 1800Z with many west-coast-to-Europe QSOs observed.


“The long path to Australia on 20 meters is in from around 2000-2200Z, but with poor activity. Seventeen meters is open to somewhere in Europe almost every day, but signals are weak and activity is low. In the PACC Dutch contest last Saturday, the low bands were down from normal. However, I still managed two Dutch contacts on 160 meters, 22 contacts on 80 meters, and 31 contacts 40 meters.”


Bil Paul, KD6JUI, of Dixon, California wrote on February 9: “I was out in my kayak today trying out a new home-built antenna tuner and 10 W with my Elecraft KX3 transceiver. The antenna was an end-fed half-wave wire vertical cut for 20 meters. Before I packed up and paddled the couple of miles back to dock (near Suisun, California), I thought I'd try for one contact. Seventeen meters was dead, so I went down to 20-meter CW. I answered a Japanese CQ and got him immediately with a 439-signal report. I gave him a 529. He was using a 3-element Yagi antenna. It is refreshing to know one can still get QRP DX despite underwhelming solar flux.”


Bob Kile, W7RH, of Las Vegas, Nevada wrote: “I'm looking for some archived Aurora Forecast Ovation-Prime model images from solar cycle 23 solar minimum. I'm interested in how much tilt in North America the auroral ring shows as a result of geomagnetic pole shift. Can you point me in the right direction? NASA doesn’t have anything like this in their public archive.”


Can anyone help? You can reach Bob via his email address on his listing.


 For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see


An archive of past propagation bulletins is at More good information and tutorials on propagation are at


Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at


Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at


Sunspot numbers for February 8-14, 2018 were 22, 23, 35, 24, 26, 20, and 18, with a mean of 24. 10.7 cm flux was 77.5, 78.1, 78.2, 78.2, 78.6, 75.9, and 75.3, with a mean of 77.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 7, 3, 4, 3, and 3, with a mean of 4.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 7, 2, 3, 3, and 2, with a mean of 3.