Propagation News – 9 April 2017

| April 7, 2017

A large sunspot group pushed the solar flux index to 112 this week, which was largely unpredicted. However, unsettled geomagnetic conditions reigned again with the K index hitting five on the fourth. The activity from sunspot region 2644 also brought a number of solar flares, and it will be interesting to see if they reoccur when the spot rotates back into view in around nine days or so. These flares did bring widespread radio blackouts on the solar-facing side of the Earth.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted be in the mid to high 70s. Geomagnetically, we may have a respite from the recent coronal activity, the more settled conditions hopefully giving us some good HF DX at times.

VHF and up

The promised high pressure duly arrived and brought some good Tropo at times last week. The good news is that it should hang around for most of next week, although a few Atlantic lows will bring less favourable conditions to Scotland and north-east England now and again.

So, moments of Tropo are likely to make the VHF, UHF and gigahertz bands worth a visit for a second week, with paths to the south across Biscay being the more profitable direction.

We are close to the start of the 2017 Sporadic-E season, and it can’t be long now. So, in preparation, keep a watch on 10 metres for signs of short skip during late morning and late afternoon, and check the six metre beacons if you experience it.

After last weekend, when 1296MHz was crackling with CW contest activity, Moon declination goes negative tomorrow, so windows of Moon visibility will shorten. The Moon reaches apogee this coming Saturday, so losses will be high and increasing over the week.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News