Propagation News – 25 December 2016

| December 23, 2016

This week we have an extended propagation bulletin that takes you through to January 8th.

HF propagation will continue to be relatively lacklustre, with the solar flux index staying in the mid to high 70s.

Geomagnetic conditions have been unsettled at times, thanks to recurrent coronal hole activity. We will have a fairly quiet week from Christmas to the New Year, with the K index predicted to be mostly two. Unsettled auroral conditions are then predicted to return from the 2nd to the 8th, when the K index could reach five.

We expect the low bands of 160, 80, 60 and 40 metres to be the ones to concentrate on, especially early in the morning, late afternoon and at night. During the day, 20 and 30 metres should bring some DX, with 17 metres opening at times. There is also a chance of some winter Sporadic-E on the higher bands.

After sunset the ionosphere can settle and the MUF may rise again after about 2030, bringing some DX on 40 metres. The MUF can then fall again around 0330 until after sunrise.

VHF and up propagation news

It looks like a white Christmas for some northern hills, but that’s about it, since the rest of the country will have mild, wet and windy weather. This means no Tropo to get excited about in the short term, but by about Tuesday there will be a build of pressure over the continent. This may bring some good Tropo prospects for the southern half of the UK as we head towards the New Year.

Paths across the southern North Sea and Biscay look best, with some options into the continent at times. This high may strengthen towards New Year’s Eve, so northern Britain may share some of the spoils late in the week.

Since we have a very strong jet stream in the vicinity over Christmas there could be some Winter Sporadic-E, so check the 10, 6 and 4 metre beacons. Two metre Sporadic-E may be a big ask for Santa!

The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks in the week after New Year, so until then, continue to look for the early morning peak of random activity to make meteor scatter contacts.

Christmas day sees the Moon at apogee and by Thursday we are at maximum negative declination, so there are high losses and short moon windows all this week.

And that’s all, so the propagation team. Hope you have a great Christmas and good DX in 2017.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News