Propagation News – 7 July 2019

| July 5, 2019

Good news—this week saw two sunspots appear from the upcoming solar cycle 25. We know this due to their magnetic polarity and locations close to the solar equator. Unfortunately, the sunspots didn’t last very long before vanishing. But it is a start. Earlier this year, an international panel of experts predicted that solar minimum would deepen in 2019 and begin to rebound sometime next year.

Solar conditions continued to be calm, with a low solar flux and a quiet geomagnetic field. This allowed the ionosphere to recover somewhat and there was DX to be had if you chose the right mode and time. For example, T2AR on Tuvalu in the Pacific has been worked by quite a few stations in the UK, on both CW and FT8. The GB19 cricket stations have also been busy and will be active until 14 July, so make the most of the time left. KH7XS in Hawaii has also been heard in the UK at S9 on 20m SSB.

The Daily Express predicted doom and gloom for Friday, 5 July when it said a huge solar storm would hit the Earth. At the time of writing, this seemed unlikely. Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the range 67-69, with settled geomagnetic conditions. We hope to get the tool back in action again soon, which has been out of action to a data centre fault in North America.

VHF and up

We start off with high pressure to the west of Britain and it should provide some tropo conditions for most areas this weekend, but will decline next week and become confined to the western side of the country.

The main change in the pattern next week is that a trough of low pressure will become established over the North Sea and produce a gentle but cooler northerly flow over the country. This could produce some heavy showers, over eastern areas in particular, and offer a chance of some rain scatter on the microwave bands.

The sporadic E season is still performing for us with 144MHz openings to Italy, and there will be suitable jet streams present to make it an interesting prospect for next week. Check the bands late morning and again late afternoon or early evening to have the best chance of finding some sporadic E.

The Moon declination goes negative on Tuesday, and path losses will increase as the week progresses. EME conditions will be best early in the week. There are no major meteor showers this week so continue to look for best DX opportunities via random meteors around dawn.

Category: GB2RS Propagation News