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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP005 (2016)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP005
ARLP005 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP05
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 5  ARLP005
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  January 29, 2016
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP005
ARLP005 Propagation de K7RA

Solar activity increased last week (January 21-27), compared to the
previous seven days.

Average daily sunspot numbers increased from 46 to 57.3, and average
daily solar flux went from 100.7 to 106. Geomagnetic indices were
also higher, with planetary A index going from 9 to 11.6.

Predicted solar flux for the short term is 110 and 108 on January
29-30, 105 on January 31 through February 1, 108 on February 2-4,
100 on February 5-6, 105 on February 7-11, 110 on February 12-13,
105 on February 14-15, 100 on February 16-20, 105 on February 21 and
108 on February 22-24.

Predicted planetary A index is 12, 8 and 5 on January 29-31, then 8,
15, 12 and 8 on February 1-4, 5 on February 5-6. 12 on February 7-8,
10 on February 9, 8 on February 10, 5 on February 11-16, then 10,
15, 10, 12 and 15 on February 17-21 and 12, 10, 8, 10 and 15 on
February 22-26.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH predicts the geomagnetic field will be quiet to
unsettled on January 29-30, mostly quiet on January 31, quiet to
unsettled on February 1, quiet to active February 2, quiet to
unsettled February 3, quiet on February 4-5, quiet to unsettled
February 6, quiet to active February 7-8, quiet to unsettled
February 9, quiet on February 10, mostly quiet February 11-12, quiet
to unsettled February 13, quiet to active February 14, mostly quiet
February 15, active to disturbed February 16-17, quiet to active
February 18-21, and mostly quiet on February 22-24.

OK1HH expects an increase in solar wind on February 2-3, 5-7, 15-16
and 20-21.  He feels less certain about the solar wind forecast for
February 2-3.

This report from Jeff Hartley, N8II of Shepherdstown, West Virginia
on January 24:

"It was a bit tough working VP8STI (South Sandwich) on 30 and 40
meters. Europe often seemed to have a big edge.

"10 meters was also tough, especially for K5P (Palmyra).

"20 meters continues to close pretty early to Europe and in all
directions in the PM. Higher K index values of 3-4 continue to not
matter that much most of the time.

"10 meters to the western USA is improving, with loud signals from
Arizona and California most days from 1600-2100Z. We also had Es to
Texas and Arkansas one day."

We also heard from Jon Jones, N0JK on January 26:

"The K5P DXpedition to Palmyra encountered low F2 MUFs to North
America for the first part of their operation. There were only
short, weak openings to Palmyra on 10 and 12 meters for many in
North America. 15 and 20 meters were their workhorse bands.

"On January 20 a CME impact sparked a geomagnetic storm that
afternoon and the K index peaked at 6. Geomagnetic storms can shut
down high latitude polar paths, but can enhance propagation towards
and across the geomagnetic equator. K5P had a booming signal on both
10 and 12 meters around 2000z, allowing many to work the rare
country on these bands. On 10 and 12 meters they peaked over S-9 on
my mobile vertical. I logged K5P on 12 meter CW, but couldn't get
through the boiling cauldron on 10. I checked for their 6-meter
beacon on 50.106, but no copy."

That Kp-index value of 6 was at the 0600 UTC reading on January 21,
which was late in the evening on January 20 for most of North
America, 10:00 PM PST here on the West Coast. The planetary A index
on January 20-21 was 25 and 32.

Earlier on January 26 Jon reported on 6 meter activity:

"A second 'peak' of sporadic-E for the 2015/2016 winter Es season on
6.

"Friday afternoon January 22 I worked KZ4RR EM90 and K1TO EL87 on 6
meters about 2000z via Es while mobile between Lawrence and Topeka,
Kansas. Sunday January 24 at 2125z I had a nice chat with VE2XK
FN07, again while I was mobile in Lawrence.

"N0JK/M   16/01/24 2127Z  50130.0 FN07 ES EM28 Tks Jon VE2XK

"K1TO EL87 heard the XE2HWB/b DL44 via double hop Es on Jan. 23 at
0034z."

And finally, David Moore sent this link:  https://shar.es/1hKeAN

On Jan. 26th, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured
imagery at several different wavelengths of superheated plasma
exploding away from the Sun in a Coronal Mass Ejection event. The
blast was not Earth-directed.

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. More good
information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.

My own archives of the NOAA/USAF daily 45 day forecast for solar
flux and planetary A index are in downloadable spreadsheet format at
http://bit.ly/1VOqf9B and http://bit.ly/1DcpaC5 .

Click on "Download this file" to download the archive, and ignore
the security warning about file format. Pop-up blockers may suppress
the download.

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 21 through 27 were 56, 50, 54, 47, 58,
61, and 75, with a mean of 57.3. 10.7 cm flux was 104, 100.5, 98.9,
103.8, 107.6, 114.8, and 112.7, with a mean of 106. Estimated
planetary A indices were 32, 14, 12, 11, 3, 4, and 5, with a mean of
11.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 15, 10, 10, 9, 3, 3, and
3, with a mean of 7.6.
NNNN
/EX