ARRL

ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP025 (2013)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP025
ARLP025 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP25
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 25  ARLP025
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  June 21, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP025
ARLP025 Propagation de K7RA

Here we are at the Summer Solstice for the Northern Hemisphere,
which was at 0504 UTC today, June 21. If you are west of the Central
time zone, to you it was last evening. Today is the longest day of
the year, but the length of your day varies considerably depending
on your latitude.  In San Diego, the sunrise is at 5:48 AM, and it
sets 14 hours later at 7:53 PM. In Seattle the Sunrises today at
5:21 AM and sets at 9:01 PM, 15 hours and 40 minutes later. But in
Fairbanks, Alaska, the Sun rises today at 3:39 AM and doesn't set
until tomorrow at 12:06 AM, 20 hours and 27 minutes later!

Right now many of us are interested in what HF radio conditions
should be for this weekend during ARRL Field Day. Until June 3, the
prediction for June 21-23 was for quiet geomagnetic conditions, with
a planetary A index of 5 for all three days.  Then on June 3 it
changed, and the predicted planetary A index for those days was 25,
18 and 10, quite a difference. On June 15 the forecast changed to
10, 18 and 10, then on June 19 it became 18, 12 and 8, and finally
yesterday it changed to 25, 15 and 10, closer to what it was on June
3.

Remember, we want those numbers to be low.

You can check http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/forecasts/45DF.html
for daily updates after 2100 UTC, and at
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/DGD.txt it is updated every
three hours with new K indices.

As of Thursday afternoon, the predicted solar flux is 130 on June
21, 135 on June 22-24, 130 on June 25, 125 on June 26-27, 120 on
June 28, 115 on June 29-30, hitting a minimum of 100 on July 5-7 and
rising to a peak of 130 on July 19-21.

The predicted planetary A index is 25, 15 and 10 on June 21-23, 5 on
June 24-27, then 30, 20, 10 and 8 on June 28 through July 1, then 5
on July 2-4, 10 on July 5-6, then 5 on July 7-13, and 8 on July
15-16.

Over the past week average daily sunspot numbers rose from 39.6 to
97, and average daily solar flux was up from 99.2 points to 115.3.

Petr Kolman, OK1MGW predicts quiet to active geomagnetic conditions
June 21-23, quiet to unsettled June 24, quiet June 25-26, quiet to
active June 27, active to disturbed June 28-29, quiet to unsettled
June 30 through July 2, quiet to active July 3-4, and mostly quiet
July 5-6.

Pavel Costa, CO7WT sent this observation: "In past winters I have
noticed that when a cold front is passing over Cuba, the front of
the wave some times acts as a very good reflector for VHF signals,
precisely the 2 meter band that is commonly used here in Cuba for FM
signals.

"As Cuba is a kind of thin and long island, the propagation behaves
differently depending on the angle of the incoming cold front.
Sometimes when the front comes perpendicular to the island, the
propagation is good for signals bouncing off the front of the wave.
Other times when the wave comes parallel to the island the
propagation is improved island wide.

"This phenomenon is not always seen with all cold fronts, and its
duration is from 1 to 4 hours for ranges about 100 to 500 Km, I have
noticed.

"Last winter I remember a cold front that made possible
communications from hand held radios on 2 meter simplex with rubber
duck antennas from two locations around 100 km apart with about 5
watts. That was around last December, maybe E-skip helped that time,
but I think the cold front was responsible for that."

K1KT, Ken Tata of Warwick, Rhode Island noted on June 18 an intense
2 meter opening in Europe, and said a MUF map showed a spot over the
Adriatic with MUF of 280 MHz.

Jeff Hartley, N8II of West Virginia mentioned on June 16, "The bands
have sounded pretty good despite the low solar flux, except for 12
and 10 meters. 15 meters is often open in our evening into Europe.
17 meters is open most days to Europe and Western Asia around
0200-0300Z, and I worked about 10 European and Asian stations on 15
meters via Es into F2 (beacon from VE1 heard on 10M) on Friday at
0230-0315Z. 15 meters was fantastic over long stretches in the All
Asia contest, JAs were loud Sunday for over 2 hours 1330-1530Z.
This is a fairly rare opening for us."

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/.

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 June 13 through 19 were 45, 73, 101, 104, 110,
120, and 126, with a mean of 97. 10.7 cm flux was 98.9, 109.1, 111,
115.9, 123.8, 125, and 123.4, with a mean of 115.3. Estimated
planetary A indices were 4, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5, and 5, with a mean of
4.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 5, 4, 3, 5, 7, and 4,
with a mean of 4.9.
NNNN
/EX