ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP003 (2013)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP003
ARLP003 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP03
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 3  ARLP003
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  January 18, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP003
ARLP003 Propagation de K7RA

Solar activity pulled back over the past week, following a stellar
performance in the week prior. Average daily sunspot numbers were
down 34.3 points to 129, but average daily solar flux actually rose
9.7 points to 157.4. This was because solar flux values seemed to
lag behind last week's activity, raising this week's average in the
first few days of the current week.

The current prediction is for solar flux at 125 on January 18-20,
120 on January 21-22, 115 on January 23-24, 130 on January 25, 135
on January 26-28, 130 and 135 on January 29-30, 140 on January 31
through February 1, 150 on February 2, 155 on February 3-4, 150 on
February 5-11, then 145, 140, 135, 140 and 145 on February 12-16.

The predicted planetary A index is 10, 15 and 18 on January 18-20, 8
on January 21-22, 5 on January 23 through February 4, 8 on February
5, 5 on February 6-8, 8 on February 9-10, and 5 on February 11
through the beginning of March.

The most active geomagnetic day was January 13, but only in relation
to very, very quiet recent conditions. The mid-latitude A index was
10, and the K index only reached 4 in one three-hour period. The
college A index (from Fairbanks, Alaska) was 11 and 12 on January
13-14, with the K index reaching 4 in two 3-hour periods on February
13 and 5 in one 3-hour period on February 14. The reading before
that K index of 5 had a K index of 0.

There is a possibility of aurora on Sunday, January 20. NOAA reports
the geomagnetic field is expected to be at minor storm levels today
(January 18), active levels on January 19, and minor storm levels
again on January 20.

A strong solar wind on January 17 was from the waning effects of a
CME (coronal mass ejection) on January 13. On January 19 solar wind
may rise again as the result of a coronal hole rotating into
geo-effective position. A January 16 CME could cause a rise in
geomagnetic activity on January 20. Effects should decrease into
background levels by mid-day (UTC) on January 20.

The Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a warning at 2335Z on
January 17 about increased geomagnetic activity January 19-20 due to
a CME. For January 19 they predict quiet to unsettled conditions,
but with active to minor storm periods after 1200Z. For January 20
they predict unsettled to active conditions, with minor storm levels
possible.

OK1HH predicts geomagnetic activity will be quiet on January 18-19,
mostly quiet on January 20-21, quiet to unsettled January 22-23,
mostly quiet January 24-26, quiet January 27 through February 1,
mostly quiet February 2-3, quiet to active February 4-5, quiet
February 6-7, quiet to unsettled February 8-9, active to disturbed
February 10-11.

Jon Utley, K7CO reports that on January 11 he was in the state of
New York, and using a 5 element monoband Yagi at 100 feet he worked
XV1X at 1334Z and XW4XR at 1600Z on 10 meter CW long path.

Also on January 11, Jeff Hartley, N8II in West Virginia reported, "I
have operated every evening this week with poorer than expected
results. Before Thursday January 10, 12 and 10 meters were closed
here very shortly after sunset to all areas. A45XR was S9 on 10
meter long path Sunday morning January 6, but the band was never
open well to Europe unless I rechecked it a bit late. VR2XMT was
about S5-7 on 12 meter SSB long path as well Sunday. All of the
higher bands still seem to close pretty early including 20 meters
both west and north by 0200Z, but I expect by today things are
better. On 10 meters Thursday, KH6 was heard until past 2250Z and
there were west coast and South American stations on 10 until around
2230Z. I have been looking for Asia long path QSOs on 20 and 30
meters without much luck, but did manage to catch UK8OM on 30 meters
short path around 0100Z."

Rick Radke, W9WS of Balsam Lake, Wisconsin wrote: "Just wanted to
share an experience I had on Wednesday January 9. I was checking the
bands for DX. As usual, I start on 10 and work on down to 20 to see
what's open. Nothing was 'happening,' in fact there were very few
signals at all. So I went to 40 just looking for a ragchew and out
of nowhere there was ER4DX calling CQ with a big signal. We
exchanged 59 reports and went our ways. This was 1400 local (2000Z)
on a sunny afternoon in northern Wisconsin, a good three hours
before grayline on this end. In almost 50 years of hamming I've
never seen 5K+ miles of 40 meter propagation mid-day. Nothing
special here, running 1 kW to a vertical with a bunch of radials."

That is an interesting time to work Moldova. ER4DX is Vasily
Romanyuk, and just doing an internet search with his callsign yields
some clues that he operates a pretty serious big gun station. For
instance, using a popular search engine to search that callsign,
then hitting the Images option leads to many photos of big antennas.

W6ELprop indicates that between ER4DX and W9WS on 40 meters on that
date signals may have taken a 10 dB jump from 2000-2030Z, and
another 10 dB by 2230Z. I used 45.456 deg N, 92.42 deg W for Rick's
location, and using the grid locator from an image of a ER4DX QSL
card (KN38vk), the AMSAT tool at
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/toys/gridconv.html shows 48.438 deg N,
27.792 deg E. at the other end. W6ELprop shows this is a 5,016 mile
or 8,073 km path, and about 6 hours after sunset at 2030Z in
Moldova. So conditions were probably favorable, and ER4DX was
probably putting out a big signal, perhaps with a large 40 meter
Yagi.

Using today's date (January 18) shows that first 10 dB bump moving
out by 30 minutes, to happen around 2030-2100Z instead of
2000-2030Z.

Reg Beck, VE7IG of Williams Lake, British Columbia on January 12
wrote: "I had the long path openings on 10 and 12 meters for 3 days
here before they petered out. I still saw W6 stations working long
path after it closed for me after the 3 days. A4, A6, A9 and 7Z1
were worked on 10 meters; A4, A6, A7 were worked on 12 meters. What
was very surprising to me was the immediate resurgence of 160 meter
propagation right after the 10 meter long path propagation stopped.
Europeans all over the band and easily worked just like during the
sunspot minimum with relatively low noise levels. Pretty amazing
propagation up here in the northern end of the Pacific Northwest."

Reg is way up north in British Columbia, not down near the border.
Seattle is 47.7 degrees north latitude, Vancouver BC is 49.2
degrees, and VE7IG is just north of 52 degrees in Williams Lake.

Oleh Kernytskyy, KD7WPJ in Salt Lake City, Utah wrote: "Solar flux
was 170 on January 12. I called CQ with 5 watts and an indoor dipole
on 28.060 MHz from Salt Lake City, and immediately received a
response from Fred, N3FLL in West Chester, PA. He also operated QRP
- 5 watts and used a dipole. I was impressed with this contact,
because the eastern direction is blocked by the Wasatch Mountains."

In another email, Oleh wrote: "We had solar flux 158 and K=2 on
January 13. It produced a short opening on 28 MHz. I had a QSO with
CE2AWW, using 5 watts and indoor dipole. The distance between our
stations was 5707 miles."

Jon Jones, N0JK wrote with 6 meter E-skip news from Kansas: "Heard
the WR7NV/b DM25 and K0YW DM69 on Es around 0130 UTC on January 14
while I was mobile near El Dorado, Kansas EM17. The Nevada beacon
was in for over 30 minutes."

And finally, in last week's Propagation Forecast Bulletin ARLP002 we
mistakenly put Carl, K9LA in Indianapolis.  Carl is in Fort Wayne,
Indiana.

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers,
email the author at, k7ra@arrl.net.

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL
Technical Information Service web page at
http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of the
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. Find more good
information and tutorials on propagation at
http://myplace.frontier.com/~k9la/.

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 10 through 16 were 145, 166, 156, 126,
128, 120, and 62, with a mean of 129. 10.7 cm flux was 173.9, 172.3,
168.5, 156.4, 154.1, 139.7, and 137.1, with a mean of 157.4.
Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 2, 3, 9, 8, 4, and 5, with a
mean of 4.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 3, 2, 10, 6,
4, and 3, with a mean of 4.3.
NNNN
/EX