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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP008 (2020)

ARLP008 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 8  ARLP008
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  February 21, 2020
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP008 Propagation de K7RA

The most recent sunspot appearance was on February 1, nearly three
weeks ago.

Average daily solar flux over the past week declined just barely
from 71.1 to 70.9.

Average daily planetary A index changed from 8.3 to 7, and
mid-latitude A index went from 6.7 to 5.1. Solar activity remains
very low.

Predicted solar flux is projected to remain very low, at 70 on
February 20-27, and 71 on February 28 through April 4.

Predicted planetary A index is 18, 10 and 8 on February 20-22, 5 on
February 23-25, then 8 and 12 on February 26-27, 5 on February 28
through March 3, then 20, 15 and 8 on March 4-6, 5 on March 7-14,
then 10, 8, 10, 8 and 5 on March 15-19, then 10, 8, 5, 8, 12 and 10
on March 20-25, 5 on March 26-30, 20 on March 31, and 15, 8, 5 and 5
on April 1-4.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period February 21 to March
18, 2020 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH.

"Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on: February 22-23, March 1-4
Quiet to unsettled on: February 21, March 1-2, 8, 11-13, 15, 18
Quiet to active on: March 3, 6-7, 9-10 
Unsettled to active on: February 25, 27, (29,) March 4-5, (16-17) 
Active to disturbed: nothing predicted

"Solar wind will intensify on February (14-15, 18-20, 27,) 28 (-29),
March (3,) 4-5, (6-10,) 11.

"Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement."

Check out the new Eclectic Tech ARRL podcast, the most recent of
which (February 13) has insights from K9LA regarding solar cycle
progress and effects on HF propagation:

Ken, N4TUT in Florida (EL98gp) reported:

"Had a nice opening on 10m February 18 from 1900z to 2150z to the
South, PU2, 3, 5, 9s (Brazil), PJ2 (Curacao), FM8, FM5 (Martinique),
OA4 (Peru), 9Y4 (Trinidad), FG5 (Guadeloupe), and CE4, CE6, CE7
(Chile). I also heard the DX working GA, SC, NC, VA, WV to the
North. Worked one WM6 in California off back corner of beam."

Unfortunately, Ken didn't give any indication of which modes he
used. CW? SSB? Perhaps these were all FT8.
Jon Jones, N0JK in Kansas wrote on February 18:

"Saturday was very slow on 10M in the ARRL CW contest with almost no
spots and few contacts reported by contestants. Not surprising with
a sunspot number of 0 and the solar flux of 71.

"But Sunday 10 Meters popped open!

"I was surprised to find 10 Meters open to the Caribbean Sunday
morning.  ZF1A was coming in with a 559 signal at 1725z. I called a
bunch but no contact. Also heard 8P5A later in and out of the noise,
but no luck with either for a contact.  K0AP (also Kansas) managed
to snag ZF1A on 10 for his only 10M contact in the contest. Dragan
runs a Hex Beam and ACOM amplifier. My 5 watts with the 1/4 wave
whip were not enough this time. It was nice to hear some DX signals
on 10 in the contest. The opening appeared to me to be sporadic-E.
Usually direct F2 on 10 is very loud. These signals were not with
considerable QSB. ZF is also pretty close in to Kansas for direct F2
on 10, but a good double hop Es range. Stations within one hop Es
range of the DX stations in the southeast USA did much better. DX
Maps is consistent with sporadic-E.

"After striking out on 10 Meters, I dropped down to 15 Meters. Many
very loud Central America and Caribbean stations. I worked a very
loud V47T at 1829z on 21.026 MHz. This was with the 1/4 wave 10 M
whip and no tuner, so power was probably a watt or so."

Ken Brown, N4SO reported on February 18:

"There is a world-wide group of users of 28 MHZ on all modes, CW,
SSB, FT8, or amateur TV, or even CW Beacons, found and reported on
DXSUMMIT 28 MHZ filtered at this web address:


"I am one of dozens of daily users.

"The 28 MHZ band usually opens at approximately 12 Noon locally,
1800 UTC, and closes either before sundown, or near sundown, or 0000

"KC3OL  28074.0 N4SO  21:18 17 Feb EM28IX<ES>EM50TK United States

"Last station decoded on FT8 was W0PYA--

"0001 (UTC)~ ...  CQ W0PYA

"Yesterday I worked and logged FT8 stations, PU2USK, Brazil, CX4CD
Uruguay and CA3SOC, Chile.

"I did not copy or work any CW stations."

February 20 video from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW:

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an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see

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Sunspot numbers for February 13 through 19, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 71.2, 71.3, 70.6, 70.5,
70.7, 71, and 71, with a mean of 70.9. Estimated planetary A indices
were 3, 3, 5, 3, 7, 14, and 14, with a mean of 7. Middle latitude A
index was 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, 11, and 10, with a mean of 5.1.