Propagation News – 7 February 2016

| February 5, 2016

Last week’s HF propagation was spoiled by a K5 geomagnetic event in the early hours of Wednesday morning. This was caused by an enhanced high-speed solar wind stream. This had the effect of knocking the HF bands for six with the VP8SGI DXpedition on South Georgia barely making an appearance for modestly-equipped stations for the rest of the day.

The solar flux index remained around the 110 mark last week, with the sun’s disk looking quite spotty towards the end. As a result, the solar flux index for the coming week is predicted to remain in the range 100-110.

According to NOAA, geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be settled, with perhaps an elevated K index on Monday the 8th and Tuesday the 9th. So midweek doesn’t look the best time for the upper HF bands.

This remains a good time of year for north-south paths on the upper HF bands, with openings right up to 12 metres. There could also be occasional signs of life on 10 metres.

Paths to the eastern seaboard of the United States have around a 75% probability of success on 14 to 21MHz from 1400Z to 1800Z.

VHF and up propagation news

The charts for the UK and Western Europe this coming week show that low pressure still predominates. Any tropo prospects are mainly due to shallow surface inversions, following a cold frosty and/or foggy night; and they will probably be relatively localised and scarce. There could be deep winter convection over the sea for helping scatter propagation on the GHz bands, otherwise there will be thin pickings on VHF and UHF.

Another week then for some satellite activity unless you are lucky enough to be seeking the warmth of a winter break in Southern Spain, the Canaries or Cape Verde. Here, the F5LEN tropo maps show strong ducting conditions extending up the African coast and tantalisingly close to the Gibraltar peninsula.

The moon declination increases all week so moon windows will lengthen and, as we approach perigee on Thursday night, losses will be low.

We are still in the early-year minimum for random meteor rates so persistence and early morning activity is still the order of the day for meteor scatter operators.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News