Propagation News – 28 December 2014

| December 23, 2014

Due to the festive break this week’s HF forecast is being prepared earlier than normal, which makes it harder to predict solar conditions. What we can say is that the sun is likely to remain very active, with a high probability of solar flares and attendant coronal mass ejections. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline, being around 175 at the beginning of the week and tailing off to 150 by Friday.

Mid winter remains the time when the low bands, 160m, 80m and 40m, come into their own. While solar maximum is not the best time for low band propagation there will still be plenty of DX to be worked, with 40m opening up to DX well before sunset, and 80m and 160m providing choice contacts for night owls.

Daytime should see plenty of DX on 20m and above. If the solar flux index remains higher than 120 or so as predicted, good DX should be possible during daylight hours on 10 metres too. A brief spell of Sporadic-E can sometimes occur in the New Year, resulting in very strong, but short-lived propagation as well.

Staying with 10m, openings to India and Japan have been observed in the mornings, with California and other western US states being workable in the afternoon.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Meteorologist, G3YLA tells us that it’s not unusual for the evolution of weather systems to be handled differently by different atmospheric models. At longer timescales, and this was written six days ago, these differences can be significant, but it is interesting to see the alternative outcomes nonetheless.

They predict different beginnings for this week; one model showing a ridge of high pressure, good for VHF, the other a small low, bad for VHF. The interest lies in the fact that both models come together and produce a tendency for ridging, i.e. high pressure, especially in the south, as the week progresses. So let’s look forward to a Happy New Year lift!

The sun has been active recently, producing Northern auroras and there are still plenty of active sunspot regions on the sun’s far side, so we might expect more auroral activity over the next week or so as they rotate in to view.

The Quadrantids meteor shower starts this week and will peak this coming Saturday night and Sunday morning 3 and 4 January. The peak is much shorter than the Geminids and ends abruptly so don’t be late!

Category: GB2RS Propagation News