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The K7RA Solar Update


Happy New Year! This is the first time the propagation bulletin has been produced and distributed on New Year’s Day. Thanks to Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, for putting in the extra time and effort.

Over the past week, average daily sunspot numbers were up, but average daily solar flux values were down, compared to the previous 7 days.

Average daily sunspot numbers rose 8.1 points to 57.7, and average daily solar flux values were down 12.4 points to 109.9. The average planetary A index declined from 21.7 to 8.9, and the average mid-latitude A index went from 12.6 to 5.9.

Predicted solar flux is 95 on January 1; 100 on January 2-7; 105 on January 8; 110 on January 9-12; 105 on January 13-14; 110 on January 15; 115 on January 16-20; 110 on January 21-26, and 115 on January 27-29.

The predicted planetary A index is 30 on January 1; 18 on January 2-3; 12 and 8 on January 4-5; 20 on January 6-7; then 12, 10, 20, 18, and 10 on January 8-12; 5 on January 13-20; 10, 15, 10, and 12 on January 21-24; 10 on January 25-26; 8, 15, 25, 18, and 12 on January 27-31.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH, of the Czech Propagation Interest Group sees active to disturbed geomagnetic conditions on January 1-2, quiet to unsettled January 3-4, mostly quiet January 5, quiet to active January 6, mostly quiet January 7, quiet on January 8, quiet to unsettled January 9, active to disturbed January 10, quiet to active January 11, quiet January 12, quiet to unsettled January 13, mostly quiet January 14, quiet to unsettled January 15, quiet to active January 16, mostly quiet January 17-18, quiet to unsettled January 19-20, mostly quiet January 21, quiet to active January 22, mostly quiet January 23, quiet January 24-25, mostly quiet January 26 and quiet to active January 27.

OK1HH believes there will be increased solar wind on January 3-7, January 20-25, January 30-February 4, and February 19-21.

At the beginning of the New Year, let’s look at some of the numbers we follow.

Average daily sunspot numbers during 2015 were the lowest since 2010.

Average daily sunspot numbers for each year from 2003-2015 were 109.2, 68.6, 48.9, 26.1, 12.8, 4.7, 5.1, 25.5, 80.1, 82.3, 97.1, 121.2, and 70.1 in 2015.

We track a 3-month moving average of sunspot numbers, and for this year, centered on January through November (November’s average runs from October 1 through December 31, 2015) the numbers were 98.2, 78.1, 68.2, 72.4, 77.7, 76.3, 69.1, 67.5, 64.5, 64.6, and 58.5.

Rich Zwirko, K1HTV, of Amissville, Virginia, sent a report on his 6 meter activity.

“After finishing a nice Christmas dinner I received a telephone call from Marty, K2PLF, in Maryland advising me of a 6 meter opening from New Zealand to the Mid-Atlantic area. At 0207 UTC I heard and worked ZL3RC (RE66) on SSB on 50120 kHz. Two minutes later ZL3AAU (RE66) on 50110, also on SSB, was in the K1HTV log. At 0223 UTC Rod, ZL3NW, (RE66) became the third New Zealand station worked, this time on CW on 50100 kHz. Rod’s signal was in for almost an hour into my FM18ap Virginia QTH, being last heard at 0319 UTC. Also worked were KP3W (FK68) at 0231 UTC and XE2X (EL06), both on CW. The opening was most likely TEP, with a single hop E-skip assist to the northeast. While the band was open to New Zealand, many strong W5 stations were being heard here. The SFI was 133 with the A Index at 9 and K Index at 2.

“Although not a new one on 6 meters for me, the three ZLs, were a nice Christmas surprise and new DXCC band countries for area 6 meter DXers K2PLF, K3SX, and W3LPL.”

What will the Magic Band bring next? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a VK signal make it into the States in the next few weeks. Rich’s page says he runs 100 W or less on HF and has all DXCC entities confirmed except North Korea.

I just finished reading a fascinating book about “The Hermit Kingdom” which I highly recommend: A Kim Jong-Il Production — The extraordinary true story of a kidnapped filmmaker, his star actress, and a young dictator’s rise to power, by Paul Fischer.

I couldn’t put it down.

QST “The World Above 50 MHz” Editor Jon Jones, N0JK, sent a report from KH6:

“Usually December is a slow month on 6 meters from Hawaii, but the New Year’s Eve geomagnetic storm created some enhanced conditions. I heard the JA6YBR/b 50.017 MHZ for about 30 minutes 579 at 2345 UTC December 31 from Oahu. No live stations heard. Suspect direct F2. Happy New Year!”

And this:

Sunspot numbers for December 24 through 30 were 51, 71, 63, 67, 64, 54, and 34, with a mean of 49.6. The 10.7 centimeter flux was 132.7, 126.4, 117.4, 110.3, 112.1, 105.4, and 101.5, with a mean of 122.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 9, 15, 11, 5, 6, and 4, with a mean of 21.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 8, 6, 11, 7, 3, 4, and 2, with a mean of 12.6.

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service. For an explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see “What the Numbers Mean, and Propagation Predictions -- a brief introduction to propagation and the major factors affecting it,” by Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website. Moreinformation and tutorials on propagation are on K9LA’s website.

My own archives of the NOAA/USAF daily 45 day forecast for solar flux and planetary A index are in downloadable spreadsheet format at and .

Click on “Download this file” to download the archive, and ignore the security warning about file format. Pop-up blockers may suppress the download.

Monthly propagation charts between four US regions and 12overseas locations are on the ARRL website.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at — Thanks to Tad Cook, K7RA




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