Propagation News – 22 February 2015

| February 20, 2015

While the solar flux index declined to the 120s this week, geomagnetic conditions became quite unsettled. The Kp index reached five around 18th February, spawning an aurora that was visible from northern parts of the UK. This didn’t help HF conditions, which had been sparkling recently due to a long period of quiet conditions.

For the next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 125-135. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled with the Kp index predicted to reach four at times.

This last week had seen excellent conditions on 12m, even way after sunset. Paths have been open to many western US states in the late afternoon, including New Mexico and Utah. If geomagnetic conditions manage to remain settled it may worth checking 12m again. Ten metres has also remained very lively despite the solar flux index declining from its earlier highs.

The weather in the week ahead is likely to be driven by deep low pressure systems from the Atlantic passing by the north of Scotland. It will often be windy and unsettled with blustery showers giving gusty winds at times, particularly in the north.
There are small signs for a weak ridge of high pressure over southern areas at the end of the week, but in all probability not a tropo-producing event.

So this may be time to look for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands without the distractions from VHF/UHF tropo openings. There is still a low probability of Sporadic-E openings this week and no meteor showers.

Thursday and Friday this week sees the moon at its highest declination, so UK EME operators will get long moon windows starting at lunchtime and extending into the early hours of the following day. This will be coupled with losses increasing, reaching a peak a week today, Sunday the 22nd.

And that’s all this week from the propagation team.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News