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The K7RA Solar Update


Average daily sunspot numbers over the past week were about the same (59) as last week (54.6), and average daily solar flux declined, from 121.4 to 116.3.

Average daily planetary A index increased from 9 to 11.3, and average daily mid-latitude A index also was higher, from 7 to 9.3.

These numbers compare the seven day period from February 19-25 with the previous seven days.

The latest NOAA/USAF solar flux forecast shows solar flux at 110 on February 27 through March 1, 105 on March 2-4, then 115 and 130 on March 5-6, 135 on March 7-9, 130 on March 10, 125 on March 11-12, 120 on March 13-17, and 115 on March 18-23. Solar flux then reaches a peak of 135 on April 3-5 before declining again.

Predicted planetary A index is 8, 20, 22 and 15 on February 27 through March 2, 8 on March 3-6, 10 on March 7-8, 5 on March 9-13, then 10 and 5 on March 14-15, 15 on March 16-17, 8 on March 18, 5 on March 19-21, 10 on March 2 and 8 on March 23-25.

Petr Kolman, OK1MGW, believes geomagnetic conditions will be quiet to unsettled February 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 on March 11-13, mostly quiet March 14, quiet to unsettled March 15, quiet to active March 16-18, mostly quiet March 19-20, quiet to unsettled March 21, quiet to active March 22, active to disturbed March 23, quiet to unsettled March 24, and mostly quiet March 25.

Petr believes increases in solar wind are mostly unpredictable, but some peaks are expected around February 28, March 1, 8, 16 - 17, and 22 – 23.

At 0513 UTC on February 27 the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a revised geomagnetic disturbance warning. An earlier warning said the predicted disturbance was due to a coronal mass ejection, but the cause was revised to a strong solar wind stream. They believe geomagnetic activity may rise to minor storm levels on February 28 and March 1.

Tom Frenaye, K1KI, sent a couple of links referencing the Reverse Beacon Network as crowdsourcing for detecting solar disturbances to the ionosphere.


Max White, M0VNG, forward an article about the sun from

Buzz Kutcher, K3GWK, in Jenkinsburg, Georgia (EM73xh) on February 15 at 1836 UTC worked S01WS in Western Sahara on 10 meter FM. This was his first contact on 10 FM, and it was full quieting, sounding the same as when he works his close neighbor on FM simplex.

Shel Darack, WA2UBK, of Livingston, New Jersey wrote:

"Band conditions were very good for me using 100W into a sloping dipole on 40 meters Saturday night and tri-band antenna on 10 and 15 during Sunday for the ARRL CW DX Contest.

“During the last hour of the contest, JAs were strong and easy to work on 15 meters using 100W and a small tri-band antenna at my New Jersey QTH.

“Later, after the contest and well past sunset I noticed SSB signals that I could not quite tune in for clarity and thought maybe it was LSB.

“I discovered I was hearing one side of a JA QSO in Japanese. With my antenna pointed nearly north toward Japan, I continued to listen for a while and soon a W0 came on exactly on frequency asking if the frequency was in use. He asked again and after no response called CQ. A W7 replied. The W0 commented that there was no activity on the band. I could hear both US stations and the JA. After a while propagation to the US stations faded out but I could hear the JA by then working a pile up of US stations."

Jeff Hartley, N8II, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia (FM19cj) wrote, “The solar flux has dropped into the danger zone for good 10 meter conditions to EU. During the ARRL CW DX contest it was just below 120 and the band was slow to open to EU on Saturday. I checked 10 at 1330Z and of the 4 EU I worked then, only an IT9 was louder direct path, the rest were peaking around 140 degrees over eastern SA. I returned to find a mix of weak and strong direct path EU at 1452Z almost 3 hours past my sunrise, but the band never really opened to the Baltic states and Scandinavia.

“Most of my QSOs were more southerly central and western EU and the run ran dry at 1727Z, so I went back to 15. Both days prop to the Caribbean seemed marginal along with very northern SA, farther south was OK. The majority of JAs were worked right at the start Friday evening with the big guns having S 7-9 signals. I found DU3 who is exactly the same heading as JA and RT0F also same heading of 330. KH6 was pretty loud then and for both afternoons into evening along with ZL, but no VKs were heard. Sunday into EU at 1322Z was much like a high SFI opening with good signals even from Russia and Scandinavia. I was called by Saudi Arabia, UN7, and two VU's all having strong signals. I ended up with 845 QSO's in 78 countries.

“Fifteen meters was the best overall band for me with 933 QSOs in 100 countries. One of the PVRC skilled ops, K3RV, locally made over 1900 QSOs in over 120 countries. Both days conditions were excellent to East Asia with many loud JAs and EU, and also good openings also into central Asia. In the first hour a JW called me and I logged big gun stations from OH and SM as well, not bad for 2-3 AM at their QTH. There must have been some auroral sporadic E. Also logged were Hong Kong, China, and several loud Hawaiians.

“Signals from EU were quite loud by 1153Z Saturday and the big guns from about HA westward were in both days past 2130Z when the majority of EU ops were on 20 by 2000Z. EU signals were the loudest of any band from all over on 15 and AF was loud until 2200Z.

“Propagation on 20 was good to everywhere at some time of the contest. At 0100Z about half of EU was pretty loud from DL, OK, and HA farther south and west and all of northern EU. AF was loud (D4, CN, EA8, EA9, CR3, Z8 Southern Sudan and ZR9 South Africa) as well as everyone to the south, all of Siberia, and KH6 as well. It was a lot of DX fun and rotator workout. EU was loud either side of my sunrise and again from about 1830-2130Z. On Sunday through a drone of EU callers, I heard JAs, BG2 and E20 (Thailand) louder than EU and also was called by RI1ANZ from Antarctica long path. The morning 20M Antarctica LP is open frequently, but not utilized that often. Clearing 7 inches of snow that fell Saturday cost me quite a few EU QSO's Sunday afternoon.

“Forty was about as good as it gets with strong EU signals from central and south EU throughout the evening, although not as strong around sunset. I logged a few Asians including 7Z in Saudi Arabia, a few AF, and DP1POL in Antarctica. JAs were weak to me, but my antenna is only a sloping dipole to JA, logged about 4 along with ZL.

“Eighty was in decent shape to EU especially to UR and UA6 with many of them logged. OH0 and two JAs were logged as well as loud sunrise KH6. I had a nice run of about 80 mostly EU stations the first night around 0400Z. I found KL7 around sunrise Sunday and we moved down to 160 successfully also! I finished with 156 QSOs in 39 countries in limited time there.

“My 160 meter score was probably my best ever in the ARRL DX with 41 QSOs in 30 countries largely thanks to finding very good EU conditions at 0300Z the first night. I worked as far east as RW7 and UR and did get a few EU to answer CQ's. There was no EU sunrise peak here like they were getting in New England; signals were much weaker than 0300Z. The second night was poor to EU, but I did manage 2 brand new 160 countries, TI9 and LU. The LU8 had a very good signal, but could barely copy me through his summer QRN. I also logged Ecuador.”

KD2BD, John Magliacane of Sea Girt, New Jersey e-mailed a blast from the past, some old e-mail (from me), ARRL bulletins, and various posts from the late 1980s and early 1990s on Usenet and the amateur packet radio network, which he recovered from archives on an old hard drive.

I hope to post some newly recovered ARRL Propagation Bulletins from 1990-1991 at If you find any old archives such as this, please contact me at

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service 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 19 through 25 were 86, 53, 54, 49, 44, 63, and 64, with a mean of 59. 10.7 cm flux was 118.7, 119.7, 116.1, 117.5, 116.8, 114.4, and 111, with a mean of 116.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 6, 7, 7, 17, 25, and 9, with a mean of 11.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 4, 8, 6, 14, 21, and 7, with a mean of 9.3.




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