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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP045 (2016)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP045
ARLP045 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP45
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 45  ARLP045
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  November 4, 2016
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP045
ARLP045 Propagation de K7RA

At 2347 UTC on November 3 Australia's Space Weather Services issued
a geomagnetic disturbance warning: "Expect Unsettled to Active
conditions with periods of Minor Storm levels in the Australian
region for the next UT day, 4 November, if a small coronal hole in
the Southern hemisphere will become geoeffective."

But as of November 3, the prediction from NOAA/USAF for planetary A
index for November 4 and 5 is only 10 and 8.

Over the past reporting week (October 27 through November 2) we saw
two days with no sunspots, October 28 and November 2. Prior to the
past week, in recent memory only October 1 had no sunspots either.
Average daily sunspot number for the week was 9.1, down from 18.7
over the previous seven days.

Average daily solar flux rose, but only slightly from 76.9 to 77.5.

Geomagnetic indicators were slightly lower, with average daily
planetary A index declining from 20.3 to 18.1, and mid-latitude A
index from 16.7 to 13.4.

Predicted solar flux is 78 on November 4-7, 75 on November 8-11,
then 80, 78 and 75 on November 12-14, 73 on November 15-16, 78 on
November 17-18, 77 and 75 on November 19-20, 78 on November 21-22,
80 on November 23-25, 78 on November 26, 80 on November 27-29, 78 on
November 30, 82 on December 1-3, 80 on December 4-5, 78 on December
6-7, and 80 on December 8-9.

Predicted planetary A index is 10 and 8 on November 4-5, 5 on
November 6-10, then 10, 15, 18, 10 and 8 on November 11-15, 5 on
November 16-18, then 8, 15, 54, 42 and 24 on November 19-23, then
18, 22, 18, 15 and 12 on November 24-28, then 8 on November 29
through December 1, then 5 and 8 on December 2-3, and 5 on December
4-7.

Looking at our three-month moving average of sunspot numbers, the
average sunspot value for August 1 through October 31 was 39. Over
the same three-month period in 2015 the average was 64.5, and in
2014 it was 108.4.

Petr Kolman, OK1MGW of the Czech Propagation Interest Group sent us
this on October 3.

"Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period November 4-November
30, 2016

"Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on November 7-8
Mostly quiet on November 4, (9-10), 15-18, 29-30
Quiet to unsettled on November 5-6, 11, 14, 19, 27-28
Quiet to active on November 12-13, 20, 24
Active to disturbed on November 21-23, 25-26

"Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected:
on November 5-6, 12-13, 20-26

"Remarks: - Parenthesis means lower probability of activity
enhancement."

Richard Dillman, W6AWO of Point Reyes Station, California saw the
reference to the ARRL National Parks on the Air activity by N8II in
last week's bulletin, and wrote:

"I hope/assume you have bagged K6KPH, one of the only permanent
stations in a national park (Point Reyes National Seashore). With
separate 1.5kW transmitters and gain antenna for each frequency we
get out pretty well - propagation permitting!  We're on the air each
Saturday and Sunday from 1200 to about 1700 Pacific time."

Indeed, I see their weekly Saturday schedule listed under Events on
the NPOTA web site:  https://npota.arrl.org/nps-events.php

Jimmy Mahuron, K9JWJ, submitted this reference to construction of a
VLF receiver for detecting Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances:

https://www.aavso.org/improved-gyrator-tuned-vlf-receiver

Regular contributor David Moore sent this about recent aurora:

https://shar.es/1I0Ivj

Richard Ferry, K2KA of Westford, Massachusetts sent this a week ago,
just after I submitted last week's bulletin to Newington, on October
28:

"6 Meters has been pretty quiet here, brief Es opening on October 25
at 1754Z one hour. Worked 5 stations in GA and one AL Es.  Been
hearing some activity on 50145 Meteors.

"There was a brief Au opening on the October 26 around 2200Z, called
CQ with beam to the north but no takers."

Ran across this from Discover Magazine about solar seismology:

http://bit.ly/2f7cvGU

Jeff, N8II reports again this week from West Virginia, this time
about last week's CQ World-Wide SSB DX Contest.

"Starting Monday before the contest, the K index was 4 or higher
almost all week and storm levels moderate w/G3 or strong(?) w/G4
were common. Despite this, paths from east through south to west
were not that bad up to 15 meters. I was able to work a loud JE1 in
Japan on 20M SSB one night and JA1NUT on 20 CW another both around
2220Z and small portable/mobile stations from National Parks were
mostly near normal signal levels, very workable. Thursday seemed to
be the worst day and Friday 2nd worst.

"The forecast for the CQ WW DX contest was for disturbed conditions,
and boy did we get that and more! A week before the CQWW last Sunday
15 M was wide open to every corner of Europe at 1330Z, but
absolutely no northern EU or even zone 16 worked in the WW. The
zones missed on all bands were 18 (heard RW0A, Russia on 40), 22,
23, 26, 27, 28, 29 (nothing heard from Australia on 20 LP and
looked),32 (only heard ZM1A, New Zealand calling a station), 34, and
37 (worst ever missed list with serious effort). My best/biggest
surprise DX QSO was VR2, Hong Kong on 40 M over the south magnetic
pole after sunrise.

"The other big surprise was EU on 10 M from 1519-1553Z on Sunday
working Spain, Portugal, France, and Balearic Is. Also worked on 10
were Canary Is. (many), Morocco, South Africa, Cape Verde Is.,
Senegal, Ceuta, and Ascension Is. 10 never seemed to open west
farther than Mexico, no Hawaii. Queensland, Australia was worked 3
times around 21Z on 15 M. Even 20 never opened well to northern EU;
Poland and Belarus had deep polar flutter on 20 Sunday morning, but
I made the QSOs. The low bands were pretty much a disaster with high
absorption. Everything past zone 33 in NW Africa was weak on 40 both
Saturday and Sunday evenings. I did work a VK4, Australia on both 40
and 75 M, and T32AZ on Christmas I. (south of Hawaii) 75 M.  There
were thousands of Russians active, and I worked none at all in my 24
hours of operating except RW0CN on 20 M around 22Z Saturday on the
Kamchatka peninsula near Alaska! Alaska was worked around 20Z on 20M
only. UP2L, a big station in Kazakhstan saved me from missing zone
17 on 20M around 1230Z Sunday.

"There were some pluses against the obvious minuses. Sporadic-E
opened 10 meters to almost all of the Caribbean early Saturday
morning with S9+ signals. At the same time there seemed to be Es
from central to west EU on 15 (stations running at very high rates).
There was also strong auroral Es Saturday evening to the north on
20/40 with booming VE2s and 3s, but no big over the pole opening. I
did work about 6-8 Japanese on 20 with weak signals then as well as
zone 19.  It seemed like Puerto Rico/Virgin Is. was in a sweet spot
for propagation and they were well represented with activity.
Propagation to the south did seem enhanced at times especially on 10
M. From my perspective, the most under represented country was New
Zealand (no QSOs, worked a passel in WPX CW), and the biggest
turnout was Chile with an explosion of new calls on 10 and 15 Sunday
afternoon/evening. The Canary Is. were also out in big numbers.
Thank goodness there were many Spanish stations active, but turnout
from France and Italy did not seem quite up to normal.

"Most DX operators did a very good job under challenging conditions;
20 was absolutely jammed with south EU most of Sunday as was 40 at
the start. I missed many northern/eastern European countries that I
normally always get on 20 and 15 meters. On 20 I worked only one
station each from Denmark, Sweden (barely), and Norway, and two from
Finland, no Aland Islands. Many Caribbean/Central America/South
America stations were worked by me on all 3 higher bands as there
was less to work in Europe, and many other NA stations were looking
south."

Thanks, Jeff!

In closing, the ARRL CW Sweepstakes is this weekend. See
http://www.arrl.org/sweepstakes for more information.

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 October 27 through November 2 were 12, 0, 16,
12, 12, 12, and 0, with a mean of 9.1. 10.7 cm flux was 78.9, 79.2,
79.1, 76.2, 76.7, 76.5, and 76, with a mean of 77.5. Estimated
planetary A indices were 28, 17, 27, 18, 11, 11, and 15, with a mean
of 18.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 18, 16, 18, 13, 8, 9,
and 12, with a mean of 13.4.
NNNN
/EX