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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP008 (2015)

ARLP008 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 8  ARLP008
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  February 20, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP008 Propagation de K7RA

Average daily solar flux and sunspot numbers were down for the
second week in a row. Average daily sunspot numbers for January 29
to February 4 were 139, then down to 81.6 the next seven days, and
now 54.6 during the February 12-18 (latest) reporting period. The
three averages for daily solar flux over the same periods were
151.1, 144.1 and 121.4.

The latest prediction for solar flux is 120 on February 20-21, 125
on February 22-24, 130 on February 25-28, 125 on March 1-5, 120 on
March 6,  115 on March 7-14, 125 on March 15 and 130 on March 16-18.
Solar flux then rises to 135 on March 23-25.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on February 20-21, 12 on February
22-23, then 10, 8, 5 and 10 on February 24-27, 18 on February 28
through March 1, 15 on March 2, 10 on March 3-4, then 5 and 7 on
March 5-6, 10 on March 7-8, and 5 on March 9-13.

Here is a new Czech Republic geomagnetic forecast, this time from
Petr Kolman, OK1MGW.

The geomagnetic field will be mostly quiet February 20-21, quiet to
active February 22-23, quiet to unsettled February 24-27, active to
disturbed February 28, disturbed on March 1, active to disturbed
March 2, quiet to unsettled March 3-4, mostly quiet March 5, quiet
on March 6, mostly quiet March 7, quiet to active March 8, quiet to
unsettled March 9, quiet to active March 10, quiet March 11-13,
mostly quiet March 14, quiet to unsettled March 15, quiet to active
March 16-17, and mostly quiet March 18.

Petr believes there is a reduced probability of increased activity
on February 22-23.

I received a nice report summary from Jeff, N8II of West Virginia:

"Hi Tad.  It's been a while since I reported in, not too much
exciting was happening over December and January. The ARRL 10 Meter
Contest conditions were pretty good with a few Russians logged along
with a multitude of central and western Europeans. Conditions to
Japan were open Saturday evening, but signals were not as strong as
the CQWW in October/November. All during December and 45 days after
the solstice despite fairly high solar flux numbers and resultant
very short skip on 20 meters, the polar and near polar paths were
pretty much shut down on 12 meters and 10 meters, and poor most of
the time on 15 meters. In the past couple of weeks the increasing
polar daylight and decreasing disturbances have really livened up
the bands, despite decreased SFI (solar flux) to around 120

"Going back a week to February 12, I logged UN7AB on 10 meter CW an
honest S9 at 1318 UTC. Also worked on 10 CW were several Russians in
the southern sixth call area and Ukraine along with TA2AL. Of note
also, 10 meters is now open much later to Europe than in December
and 20 is still open to southern and western Europe at 2100-2200 UTC
most days. The next morning, Friday, February 13, was also
noteworthy, logging EY8MM 539 on 12 meter CW at 1247 UTC and UA4PT
579 on 10 meter CW at 1404 UTC. JH1MDJ was S9 on 10 phone at 2300

"I worked the Dutch PACC Contest (see on
February 14-15. 10 meters was a bit slow to open to Holland, but
eventually the little guns were strong enough to work by 1415 UTC
and the big guns were loud. Dutch signals on 15 meters were loud all

"Evening low band conditions were mediocre, but the big guns were
fairly loud on 40 peaking 1-2 hours after sunset.

"I made a dozen Dutch QSOs on 80, 30 and 40 meters, but could have
done a lot better if I had worked through the European sunrise. I
tired of tracking down the very limited number of Dutch stations and
checked 15 meter phone at 0100 UTC Sunday to find it wide open to
the Far East, finding XW3DT about S5 and both BV0RW and BW2/JP1RIW
in Taiwan with S9 signals. A CQ brought a steady run of seven loud
JA stations, most of which were S9 before quitting at 0132 UTC. Of
note on February 15 was the very late 10 meter opening to S57AL at
1846 UTC and M0BZH at 1931 UTC.

"On February 16 on 15 meter CW a very loud RU0LAX was logged, then
VK6HM (S2) and RA0LMK answered my CQs followed by finding BG9XD
about S7. That morning two UA3 area stations answered CQs on 10 CW
starting 1438 UTC (rather late), and R5WW and UV1IW were also

"On February 19 RW0CR was S9+ 30-35 dB on 15 phone at 0042 UTC and
due to a bout of insomnia, I caught a good 160 meter CW opening from
0448 UTC finding US5, HA8, and F5IN. Then from 0502-0521 UTC running
a steady stream (many S9), logging in order OK1, KP2M, DF9, SP9,
SP2, US2, S58N, 9A5X, OM7, US0, 9A2, M0, and DK3. Also heard well
was TI9/3Z9DX, but no QSO. 160 has been largely completely closed to
EU in the early to mid-evening here, so this opening was a surprise
probably helped by a low K index and SFI hovering around 120 rather
than the 140's and higher in January.

"Today, February 19, was the coldest day of the season with a high
of 14 degrees F and wind chill factor never above zero all day.

"73, Jeff N8II"

Thanks, Jeff!

On February 17, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center emailed a
notice about a planned temporary shutdown this Saturday which we
reported in the ARRL Letter, but as of Thursday February 19 it has
been postponed.

Lanny Lamphere, KC7RUN of Oklahoma City shared this link to space
weather reports from Dr. Tamitha Skov, available in online video at . She has focused her reports toward amateur
radio of late, and I think this looks promising.

Don't miss the ARRL International DX CW Contest this weekend. The
Phone portion is the first full weekend in March. The CW weekend
begins tonight in North America (0000 UTC Saturday, or 4:00 PM
PST/7:00 PM EST) and ends 48 hours later.  For details see

K9LA has a new post on his website, a review of one-way propagation,

Here he gives a history of his propagation columns for WorldRadio,
then CQ Plus, which ended recently:

Poke around his website. You will find many interesting and
informative articles.

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers,
email the author at,

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL
Technical Information Service web page at, For an explanation of the
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 12 through 18 were 50, 59, 49, 45, 44,
40, and 95, with a mean of 54.6. 10.7 cm flux was 127.6, 124.9,
120.4, 119.6, 118.1, 118.5, and 121, with a mean of 121.4. Estimated
planetary A indices were 5, 3, 3, 6, 5, 22, and 19, with a mean of
9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 2, 2, 5, 4, 18, and 15,
with a mean of 7.