Accessed on 15 December 2018, 1540 UTC, Post 804.
Author: Tad Cook (K7RA).
Please scroll down to read the complete propagation forecast from Tad Cook (K7RA) and his volunteer staff of observers.
SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP050 ARLP050 Propagation de K7RA ZCZC AP50 QST de W1AW Propagation Forecast Bulletin 50 ARLP050 From Tad Cook, K7RA Seattle, WA December 14, 2018 To all radio amateurs SB PROP ARL ARLP050 ARLP050 Propagation de K7RA Our recent reporting week (December 6-12) had sunspots on five of the seven days, with an average daily sunspot number of 9.7, up from 2.3 in the previous seven days. Average daily solar flux rose from 68.9 to 70.7. Geomagnetic indices were moderate, with average daily planetary A index rising from 7 to 8, and mid-latitude A index increasing from 4.9 to 6.4. Predicted solar flux over the next 45 days is 70 on December 14-19, 68 on December 20-22, 70 on December 23 to January 4, 68 on January 5-18, and 70 on January 19-27. Predicted planetary A index is 5 on December 14-15, 8 on December 16-17, 5 on December 18-27, then 8, 12, 10 and 8 on December 28-31, 5 on January 1-2, 10 on January 3-4, 8 on January 5-6, 5 on January 7, 8 on January 8-9, 5 on January 10-12, 8 on January 13-14, 5 on January 15-23, then 8, 12, 10 and 8 on January 24-27. Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period December 14, 2018 to January 9, 2019 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH. "Geomagnetic field will be: Quiet on December 14-15, 18-23, Quiet to unsettled on December 16, 24-27, January 9 Quiet to active on December 17, 28, January 1-2 Unsettled to active on December 29, (30-31), January 3-8 No Active or disturbed days predicted. "Solar wind will intensify on November 30 and on December (15-18, 24-27,) 28-31, January 1, (3-4,) 5-7, (8) "Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement." On December 11 N0JK reported on the ARRL 10 Meter Contest from Kansas, "Much better conditions in the ARRL 10 meter contest this year than last. "On Saturday afternoon, had E-skip on 10 to W4 and W5, which allowed links on to F2/TEP propagation to South America. Running just 5 watts, I logged CE, CX, LU and PY stations via Es link. Double hop Es to HK, P4 and PJ2. Single hop Es to W4 and W5. "Sunday the band conditions not nearly as good, but see the northeast states had strong Es to Florida. This in turn allowed them to link on to South America. See DX maps, which clearly show this classic setup. Also strong single hop Es along the West Coast. "Had some weak Es in Kansas, heard CO8RH but he faded out while I was fiddling with my hand key. I was able to work 9Z4Y on 10M CW." Another report on last weekend's 10 meter contest was from Jeff Hartley, N8II in West Virginia: "Conditions last weekend were much better than last year in the ARRL 10 meter contest. My first QSO beyond local range was VE2FK in Quebec at 0045Z (Friday local time) followed by WI/MN and SD starting 10 minutes later. Then ME, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick came through followed by the Gulf coast from TX around to FL all on sporadic-E (Es). At 0220Z there was a brief double hop Es opening to CO and NE. Around 0300Z FL came back in and even at 0420Z FL stations were still good copy but fading. "Saturday started slow until 1416Z when I found W0WP in IA followed by one WI on scatter. The next opening was 1540Z when CE7VPQ in Chile was found on SSB (first F2 QSO) followed by Argentina and Brazil. Then at 1622Z Es started from MN, WI, IA, then IL, MO, NE, then AR, MO, KY, TN, and KS. "At 1740Z, OK, TX, and AR were loud and soon after XE2HQI in northern Mexico was found. Southern SA was back at 1800Z along with some F2 backscatter QSOs into the W8/9 call areas. Then, NM was found at 1826Z on either double hop Es or F2 and K6AM in CA 1831Z. "For the next hour, a huge number of stations were worked mostly in AZ, CA, NM, and NV as well as backscatter into Ontario and W1/2 along with several XEs in Mexican states mostly on F2. A big surprise was being called by VK2BJ in New South Wales, Australia on CW at 1851Z, very early, best DX of contest! "The band stayed open to SA and XE until about 2035Z with last QSOs into Bonaire and Columbia. Another amazing QSO was ZL6YOTA (Youths On The Air) in New Zealand at 0200Z probably via double hop Es into F2 on the other end. "Sunday conditions were much poorer after a very good sporadic-E opening to FL until about 1420Z. Mostly marginal SA openings in and out along with some scatter (meteor and ionospheric) sums up what was available. W0AIH in WI was nearly constantly readable on ionospheric scatter and a few other Midwest stations were worked scatter too. Starting 1518Z, Aruba, Curacao, and Venezuela were all added as new countries in a spotlight F2 opening. "Conditions were good enough to allow 63 QSOs with FL, 24 with AZ, 9 with XE, and 23 with CA. 69 locals in MD were logged." The latest from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW: "Whirlwind of a Season "Dear Tad, It's hard to believe I haven't written since Thanksgiving. Many of you already know I have had a challenging go of it over the last six weeks or so. Between the southern California wildfires coming so close to my home and now two members of my immediate family having emergency medical procedures, it's been a whirlwind of a season! I cannot express the depth of my appreciation for all the notes of comfort and encouragement I have received from you recently. Your kind words and patience through it all have helped me stay positive and hopeful during this crazy ride. "As for your recent emails, I am finally able to begin writing back. So, if you are expecting an answer from me, it will be coming in the next few days! Also, to play catch up, I recently did a live mini-course on Space Weather indices. This is a really complicated topic that you can't find well explained anywhere. It has turned out to be one of my most popular courses and I've gotten amazing feedback about how helpful it has been to everyone. So, just in case you missed it but want to see it, I am including a link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVgZQqUYemc "As for the forecast this week, we have been enjoying an extended period of moderately fast solar wind. The weak storming kept us at unsettled conditions, which brought aurora to high latitudes and improved GPS at low latitudes over the past 10 days. However, the Space Weather will slowly quiet down as we approach week's end. Thankfully, not all is going quiet. Three new active regions are now facing Earth and are boosting the solar flux. This means amateur and shortwave radio should improve, especially on Earth's day side. With any luck, these regions will continue to brighten the Sun's face over the next week. So, despite conditions quieting down, between the recent aurora and now the elevated flux, it looks like the Sun is already beginning to spread the holiday cheer! "Cheers, Tamitha Latest forecast from Dr. Skov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcrsMDS5CkY In last week's Propagation Forecast Bulletin ARLP049, I noted a new updated forecast for smoothed sunspot numbers and solar flux from NOAA on pages 10-11 at: ftp://ftp.swpc.noaa.gov/pub/warehouse/2018/WeeklyPDF/prf2257.pdf These seemed to show predicted activity headed for extremely low numbers out to the year 2022, with most of that year having no sunspots. But I believe these numbers are suspect, because if you look at solar flux numbers they go to some low values that have not been seen ever before. These smoothed numbers are a moving average over a whole year. It shows the smoothed solar flux going down to 59, which has not been seen ever before. I inspected daily solar flux during the last minimum, and decided to look at the six months on both sides of 7/17/2008. If I average the flux values for a year centered on that date, I get a value of 68.68. Around that time in 2008-2009 there were extended periods with no sunspots. So, I suspect there are errors in these predictions, and will wait for NOAA to clarify this forecast and probably correct them. If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at, email@example.com . 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 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 December 6 through 12, 2018 were 17, 16, 12, 12, 0, 11, and 0, with a mean of 9.7. 10.7 cm flux was 69.7, 70.1, 70.5, 71.6, 71, 71, and 70.8, with a mean of 70.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 10, 10, 9, 11, 7, and 4, with a mean of 8. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 8, 10, 6, 8, 7, and 3, with a mean of 6.4. NNNN /EX