Propagation News – 22 March 2015

| March 20, 2015

Last week we warned you of more potential solar flares and coronal mass ejections hitting the Earth and it looks like we were right. On Tuesday 17th a major geomagnetic storm took place, pushing the Kp index to eight.

The immediate reaction was an increase in signal levels on 10m with many Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian stations workable, albeit with QSB, as the maximum useable frequency headed towards 29MHz. Scotland was audible in southern UK on 10m too. Signals then turned auroral with characteristic Dalek-sounding USB signals and hissing CW on both 2, 6 and 10m. This was one of the best auroral openings on VHF for some time.

The following day the K index was still at five and MUFs were very depressed.

The other highlight of the week was the eclipse on Friday 20th. There were lots of radio activities planned, but at the time of writing it was too early to say what the outcomes were.

This week the solar flux index should remain in the range 100-110. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions will continue, with K indices of four forecast for Monday. Next weekend could be just as bad, so look out for pre-auroral enhancements on HF, followed by auroral conditions on 6m and 10m, perhaps even 2m.

VHF and up propagation

Watch out for further auroral conditions on VHF if the sun is still active.

We start the week with an area of high pressure over the south of the country declining, along with any lift conditions, as a cold front crosses from the west today. A new high will build from the west across northern Britain by midweek, but this may only produce a temporary lift as it sinks south and into the continent. Indeed other models are less enthusiastic about this second high. So some chances for lift conditions, but not a ‘dead cert’.

The good news is that it’s not long to wait now for the new Es season to get under way, possibly from mid to late April, and definitely from May onwards, from the UK on 10m and 6m.

No meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings. The Moon’s declination continues to increase this week giving longer Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week with losses starting low but reaching maximum next weekend.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News