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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP047 (2017)

SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP047
ARLP047 Propagation de K7RA

ZCZC AP47
QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 47  ARLP047
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  December 1, 2017
To all radio amateurs 

SB PROP ARL ARLP047
ARLP047 Propagation de K7RA

We skipped last week's bulletin due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
 
Outlook for the near term shows solar flux at 72 on December 1, 70
on December 2 to 7, 71 on December 8, 72 on December 9 to 12, 74 on
December 13, 75 on December 14 to 16, 74 on December 17, 73 on
December 18 to 20, 74 on December 21 and 22, 76 on December 23 to
29, 72 on December 30 and 31, 70 on January 1 to 3, 71 on January 4,
72 on January 5 to 8, 74 on January 9, 75 on January 10 to 12, 74 on
January 13 and 73 on January 14.
 
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on December 1 to 3, then 32, 36,
18, 12 and 10 on December 4 to 8, 5 on December 9 and 10, then 12,
15, 12 and 8 on December 11 to 14, 5 on December 15 and 16, then 8,
25, and 10 on December 17 to 19, 8 on December 20 and 21, 5 on
December 22 and 23, 15 on December 24, then 12 on December 25 to 27,
8 on December 28, 5 on December 29 and 30, then 35, 40, 28, 20 and
10 on December 31 through January 4, 5 on January 5 and 6, then 12,
15, 12, 8 and 5 on January 7 to 11, 8 on January 12 and 13 and 25 on
January 14.
 
From F. K. Janda, OK1HH his geomagnetic activity forecast for the
period December 1 to 27, 2017.
 
Geomagnetic field will be: 
Quiet on December 2, 16, 23, 26 
Mostly quiet on December 1, 8, 14, 17, 21, 24 and 25 
Quiet to unsettled on December 3 and 4, 9 to 12, 15, 20, 27 
Quiet to active on December 7, 13, 18 
Active to disturbed on December 5 and 6, 19, 22
 
Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on
December (1 and 2, 4,) 5, 7 and 8, 17 to 20, (21 and 22, 24 and 25).
 
Remark: Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
 
A new video from Dr.  Skov:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lbcSEM3DtI
 
Jeff, N8II in West Virginia wrote:
 
"Tonight, November 30, is pretty exceptional on the low bands.  On
160M several Europeans including SM3EVR in Sweden and a G4 Great
Britain are generating steady pile ups.  The ARRL 160M contest
starts tomorrow and USA big guns are flexing their muscles.  I also
managed a marginal QSO with S01WS, Western Sahara for a new country
on 160M.  Several EU stations were worked on 80M CW including Norway
and Lithuania.
 
In the CQWW CW DX contest Nov 25 and 26, conditions overall were
better than last year with no disturbances of consequence throughout
and probably slightly lower solar flux.  Last year was disturbed
until around 1200Z Sunday.
 
160M was productive for the big guns the first night.  I managed
QSOs with Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and Hungary along with
Caribbean and the north edge of SA running low power 100W.
 
Conditions on 80 M could not have been much better through 0500Z the
first night.  I worked Iceland, Kaliningrad, EU Russia, Ukraine,
Lithuania, Latvia, and Macedonia and many other EU countries along
with several QSOs with West Africa (Canary Is, Morocco, and
Madeira).
 
40M was in good shape to central, western, and southern EU the first
3 hours first night.  One Caribbean station claimed over 3600 QSOs
on 40. Asian stations were very difficult to find and work for me
including the Arabian Peninsula where I heard Oman and Saudi Arabia.
 
20M was open very well to Russia before sunrise both days and Sunday
I managed to get many to answer my CQs.  I worked a RA9 station in
Asia but his zone was 16, the same as EU Russia.  I never heard any
Russians from zones 17 to 19, very unusual.  Every part of EU was
loud early both days, but mainly only western EU was workable by
1600Z and very few EU were worked past 1830Z.  Many stations were
active from West Africa, but I did not hear AF zones 34 or 36.
 
V6, Micronesia was worked short path around 2100Z Saturday and V7,
Marshall Is. on Sunday.  Australia was also worked long path in the
2000Z hour and New Zealand at 0130Z short path.  Signals from the
south were workable all day and peaked around 2100 to 2300Z.
 
15M was fairly marginal with only southern and western EU the first
day with a much better but fairly short opening Sunday around 1300
to 1415Z which included QSOs with many northern EU countries
including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, northern Finland,
Denmark, and Sweden.  One southern Russian (R7) was worked and
western EU lingered past 15Z.  African signals were good as were the
Caribbean and SA.  Several Hawaiians, New Zealand, Tonga, and
Micronesia were worked in the Pacific.
 
10 meters was barely open Saturday mostly only to the Sao Paolo, PY2
area and only a bit better Sunday to Argentina, Costa Rica, and
Panama.  There was sporadic E to Wisconsin and I worked a strong
signal from British Columbia via either double hop Es or F2.
 
I meant to mention about northern EU 15M:  This opening was very
unusual for late Nov and SFI 72 and 73, probably the best to this
area since the CQ WW SSB weekend a month ago."
 
Jon Jones, N0JK of Lawrence, Kansas wrote:
 
"The 2017 Winter E-skip season appears to be underway.
 
There was a nice 3 hour sporadic-E opening on 6 meters November
28/29 UTC.
 
Here in eastern Kansas EM28 -- the opening started with both the
WB7PMP/b EM95 and the 5 watt XE2O/b EL05 6 meter beacons booming in
at 2350z November 28.
 
On 50 MHz I logged W1RAJ EM72 SSB, W4RER EL89 CW, K5VWZ in rare grid
EL28 on SSB, NM5Z EM41, and K4DJ EM95 on CW and a loud WB7PMP EM95
between 0015 - 0200z November 29.  I noted FT8 spots for double hop
sporadic-E between K1TOL Maine to XE2JS DL68 at 0123z.  N2CJ FN30
spotted N7HD DM34 at 0104z and WB7PMP EM95 noted AA7WB DM26 at
0225z, both SSB 2x Es.  A good mix of SSB, CW and the FT8 digital
mode during the Es opening.  A tip to FT8 ops, when conditions are
good, contacts can be made quicker on SSB and CW."
 
Jon mentioned rare grid EL28.  Most of this grid is in the Gulf of
Mexico and south of Houston, as seen at http://bit.ly/2AoQ6Qu .
 
He also noted the winter E-skip season, which we hope will be active
during the ARRL 10 meter contest, next weekend, December 9 and 10,
2017:
 
http://www.arrl.org/10-meter
 
The contest occurs a few days before the peak of the Geminids meteor
shower which could enhance ten meter conditions.
 
Scott Bidstrup, TI/W7RI in Costa Rica wrote two weeks ago on
November 17:
 
"Bands down here in the single-digit latitudes are showing the
effects of the approaching solar minimum.  There hasn't been a
single opening on six meters of any consequence here since last
September, and normally, we would be in the middle of our evening
TEP season into South America by now.  I've only seen a handful of
FT8 decodes from South America and by now the band should be busy
with activity every night.  Since the FT8 protocol permits signal
detection at levels well below those of traditional methods such as
CW and SSB, the utter lack of decode activity suggests that
propagation via the evening TEP mode has all but stalled out.  Two
years ago, I was busy every night by now.
 
On the HF bands, though, the approaching solar minimum has actually
been good news for us here, as the solar ultraviolet and X-ray
emissions that excite the D-layer and cause us our mid-day blackout
on the HF bands, has been getting progressively weaker, and so the
mid-day blackout has been shorter and less intense recently.
There's been quite a bit of TEP activity on ten meters in the
afternoons here recently - just about every day, the 10m band has
been open from here into CE, LU, CX and PY.  But every day it's
always the same stations, so there's little incentive to take
advantage of it once you've worked them all several times.  On 20
through 12, though, there's been plenty of daytime DX from other
regions to choose from, with the bands opening into Europe by 10AM
and not closing to the Far East until after sunset.
 
20m has often been open till late in the evening, occasionally even
through the night, usually into North and South America with a
smattering of Europeans, and 40 has been open almost around the
clock without fail, often with some good DX, particularly in the
early morning.  The lower D-layer absorption means that we are
frequently working the States in the middle of the day on 40, and
every day, without exception, we can see FT8 decodes all day long,
even with modest antennas.  Even using weak signal modes, that was
seldom possible just as recently as last year.
 
The great blessing that FT8 has been for 160, combined with the
lower D-layer absorption means that grayline conditions have been
workable for much longer than in the past, and several of my friends
have worked some very respectable DX with very modest antennas on
160 including Mellish Reef and several African stations, using 80m
dipoles tuned with a tuner."
 
A possible future solar disturbance like the Carrington Event in the
nineteenth century is described somewhat breathlessly, over the top,
and as if the event is actually predicted to happen in the next few
minutes.  Not sure I trust the source, but this one actually
proposes a solution, a 100,000 ton coil sitting between Earth and
our sun:
 
http://bit.ly/2BrEdbH
  
For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL
Technical Information Service at
http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals.  For an explanation of
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 November 16 through 22, 2017 were 15, 26, 14, 0,
0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 7.9.  10.7 cm flux was 73.2, 76.4, 76.1,
74.4, 73.6, 73.2, and 73.4, with a mean of 74.3.  Estimated
planetary A indices were 14, 6, 6, 5, 8, 28, and 10, with a mean of
11.  Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 5, 5, 5, 7, 16, and
7, with a mean of 8.
 
Sunspot numbers for November 23 through 29, 2017 were 0, 0, 13, 15,
15, 14, and 12, with a mean of 9.9.  10.7 cm flux was 72.4, 74.1,
74.3, 75.5, 73.6, 71.9, and 72.6, with a mean of 73.5.  Estimated
planetary A indices were 9, 10, 7, 3, 5, 8, and 5, with a mean of
6.7.  Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 8, 4, 2, 4, 6, and 4,
with a mean of 5.
NNNN
/EX