Propagation News – 21 August 2016

| August 19, 2016

This week has been a little unsettled in terms of geomagnetic disturbances and we are still experiencing the summer HF doldrums, at least until September. The K index hit three on many occasions due to ongoing coronal hole activity, and these negated the slight rise in the solar flux index caused by a handful of weak sunspots. Maximum usable frequencies have risen above 21MHz at times, with the 4X6TU international beacon in Israel, RR90 in Russia, OH2B in Finland and ZS6DN in South Africa being heard on 18.110 and 21.150MHz. But a casual glance across the rest of the HF bands has not shown vast amounts of DX activity.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 75-80. Geomagnetic conditions should be reasonably settled, apart from midweek when the K index is predicted to rise to four. This is due to yet another recurrent, negative polarity, high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole.

We continue to encourage you to look for evening openings on twenty metres, when D layer absorption has dropped away, hopefully leaving potentially good DX paths. And during the day don’t ignore five megahertz, a band that continues to offer opportunities for NVIS contacts around the UK at a time when forty metres is only open to Europe.

The unsettled weather over the weekend will mean that some rain scatter may be available, and in the south of the country a weak ridge of high pressure across Biscay and northern France could also provide some extended Tropo paths early next week. As the high moves towards Scandinavia by midweek, Tropo paths across the North Sea may be worth exploring. It is possible that some thundery weather may creep north over western Britain later in the week, to reintroduce the possibility of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

We are now getting nearer the tail of the 2016 Sporadic-E season, so events may be harder to find. That said, there was a nice transatlantic opening last week on 50MHz and there should be some jet streams over Europe and the Atlantic this week that might promote some more late season Sporadic-E. For this you’ll need to check the cluster, particularly late morning and around tea time.

There are no meteor showers this week so it’s back to early mornings for the best random meteor scatter conditions.

EME conditions will be good this week with low losses and long moon windows, so look out for inspired and recharged EME’ers returning from this weekend’s EME2016 conference!

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

Category: GB2RS Propagation News