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LATEST K7RA HF Propagation Bulletin


From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, Washington, USA
To all Amateur Radio Operators


Friday, March 24, 2017 18:25 GMT


The sun just finished an extended period (16 days) of zero sunspots. There were none on March 4, one visible on March 5, then none on March 6 to 20. Finally one sunspot group appeared on March 21 to 23, with a sunspot number of 12 on all three days. A sunspot number of 12 does not mean there were 12 sunspots. Every group of sunspots counts as 10 points, and every sunspot within those groups counts for one point. Therefore, the minimum non-zero sunspot number is 11. So for the past three days there were two sunspots in one group. The average daily sunspot number this week (March 16 to 22) was 3.4, compared to zero during the previous seven days. Average daily solar flux increased from 70.3 to 71.2. Average daily planetary A index increased from 8.1 to 10 and average mid-latitude A index increased from 6.4 to 7.1. The mid-latitude A index is measured at one magnetometer at Wallops Island, Virginia while the planetary A index is calculated based on a number of magnetic observatories, most in the northern hemisphere. Predicted solar flux is 75 on March 24 to 26, 78 on March 27 to 30, 72 on March 31 to April 4, 71 on April 5, 70 on April 6 to 17, 71 on April 18, 72 on April 19 to May 1 and 71 again on May 2. Predicted planetary A index is 14 on March 24, 8 on March 25 and 26, then 20, 40, 35, 20 and 18 on March 27 to 31, then 15, 20 and 15 on April 1 to 3, 12 on April 4 and 5, 10 on April 6, 5 on April 7 to 16, then 8, 12, 20, 8, 5 and 8 on April 17 to 22 then 8, 35, 30, 20, 18, 15, 20 and 15 on April 23 to 30, and 12 on May 1 and 2. The Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning at 2336 UTC on March 23: "Due to the continued effect of the high speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole, solar wind speed is still high. IF Bz shows sufficiently southward values for long enough intervals of time, there is some possibility for some minor storm periods to occur on 24 March." From F. K. Janda, OK1HH, geomagnetic activity forecast for the period March 24 to April 19, 2017 Geomagnetic field will be: Quiet on March 25, April 8 and 9, 14 and 15 Mostly quiet on April 13, 19 Quiet to unsettled March 26 to 28, April 10, 12, 18 Quiet to active on March 24, 31, April 1 to 4, 6, 11, 17 Active to disturbed on March 29 and 30, April 5, 7, 16 Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on March 24, 30 and 31, April 1 to 4, (5 to 8,) 12 and 13. (14,) 16 to 20. Dates in parenthesis are less likely to have enhanced solar wind. This weekend is the CQ Worldwide WPX SSB Contest. The CW portion is on May 27 and 28. See http://www.cqwpx.com/rules.htm for details. One cool aspect of this contest is that unique prefixes count for multipliers. So instead of counting states worked or countries worked and using those totals to multiply your final score, you total up the number of unique prefixes worked. Right now as K7RA, I am not in much demand for this contest, because the K7 prefix is quite common. But starting in the 1980s I was KT7H, and this made my call sought after as a desirable multiplier, depending on how many other stations in the contest had a call sign starting with KT7. WaPo comments on the naked sun. Note there is a comment at the bottom from N3JLY. http://wapo.st/2nKw6nd