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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP001 (2022)

ARLP001 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 1  ARLP001
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  January 7, 2022
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP001 Propagation de K7RA

Sunspot activity was substantially lower this week, but new sunspot
groups emerged on December 31, January 1, January 4, and January 5.
Average daily sunspot number dropped from 110.1 to 36.4, while
average daily solar flux went from 124 to 91.4.

Geomagnetic activity was still fairly quiet, even with a number of
flares and CMEs, with the average daily planetary A index changing
from 6.4 to 7.7, and average middle latitude A index from 4.4 to 6.

Predicted solar flux over the next month shows 10.7 cm flux values
peaking at 120 on January 16-24, and again at 120 in mid-February.

The daily predicted values are 94 on January 7, 96 on January 8-14,
115 on January 15, 120 on January 16-24, 110 on January 25, 100 on
January 26-27, 95 and 90 on January 28-29, 88 on January 30-31, 85
on February 1-5, then 90, 95 and 100 on February 6-8, 115 on
February 9-11, and 120 on February 12-20.

The predicted planetary A index is 5 on January 7-8, then 12, 14 and
8 on January 9-11, 5 on January 12-14, then 8 and 12 on January
15-16, back to 8 again on January 17-18, 5 on January 19-22, 10 on
January 23, 8 on January 24-26, 5 and 10 on January 27-28, 8 on
January 29-30, 5 on January 31 through February 6, 10 on February
7-8, 5 on February 9-10, then 8, 12, 8 and 8 on February 11-14.

From F.K. Janda, OK1HH:

"Weekly Commentary on the Sun, the Magnetosphere, and the Earth's
Ionosphere-January 6, 2022.

"Free continuation of Earth's magnetic field activity predictions,
published between 1978-2022.

"Solar activity is declining as expected. The last of the chain of
active areas on the Sun, which gradually set behind the western limb
of the solar disk, still contributed to the increase in the speed of
the solar wind in the first three days of the new year.

"The activity of the Earth's magnetic field has decreased since
January 4, and MUF values are gradually declining.

"The solar coronal holes, which now extend along the southern half
of the central meridian, should contribute to a slight increase in
the speed of the solar wind in the coming days.

"Best news in conclusion: we expect a recurrent increase in solar
activity around mid-January.

"Note: The website is long-term valued not
only by radio amateurs but also by professional astronomers."

I frequently check to peer over the
Sun's horizon to see what might emerge over the next few days. I
look for those messy white splotches, which may indicate magnetic
complexity and perhaps a returning or emerging sunspot.

Although the image is constantly updated (every few minutes)
presenting views of the Sun in real time, in October 2014
communication with the STEREO-B spacecraft was lost, so we no longer
see a full 360 degree image of the Sun.

I've been wondering how much it would cost to replace the failed
spacecraft, and if there might be any plans to do so. I checked with
someone at NASA, and received this interesting response:

"I don't know exactly how much it would cost to build a single
spacecraft to replace STEREO-B at this point.

"The two spacecraft combined (A and B) were about $550 million back
before STEREO launch in 2006.

"There is no plan to replace STEREO-B, but based on the success of
the STEREO mission there are a lot of people proposing missions
observing the Sun and solar wind from spacecraft at the relatively
stable Sun-Earth L4 and/or L5 points or else other spacecraft
orbiting the Sun. We will see if any of them are funded. The exact
cost would depend on the details of the mission."

L4 and L5 refer to Lagrange points:

Jon Jones, N0JK in Lawrence, Kansas wrote:

"January 3 was a big day for the VHF bands.

"The Quadrantid Meteor shower appeared to peak around 2030 UTC
January 3 as per the NASA prediction.

"I logged N0LL/P DM89 (353 miles) at 1950 UTC on 50.260 MHz MSK144.
Then KE8FD (EN80, 779 miles) also 50.260 MSK144. Logged KA9CFD
(EN40, 993 miles) on FT8, too far for ground wave. May have been
meteor enhanced.

"That evening there was a strong sporadic-E opening across North
America. I had a 6 Meter PSK flag from ZF1EJ (EK99, 1573 miles) at
2357 UTC. Later worked N7BHC in rare EL15 (829 miles, Brownsville,
Texas) at 0246 UTC.

"73, Jon N0JK"

Jon writes the monthly "World Above 50 MHz" column in QST, and
operates from EM17 grid square:

More good 10 meter news from Greg Mitchell, KB1AWM, in Goose Creek,
South Carolina:

"Just wanted to report a very favorable afternoon on 10 meters
12/27. Worked 4 VK stations back to back from South Carolina
starting about 3:30pm local time. Antenna was a simple long wire.
VK4ZC started the run; he copied me at a -06 and I gave him a -15.
VK3BOX, VK2HFP and VK3KJ followed, with the last one issuing me a
+04. Great Christmas surprise on 10M. Over the past several years, I
have never worked that easily into the south Pacific on 10."

On January 6, WJ5O posted to an HF beacon email list:

"It's mid-morning in Southern Alabama and I'm hearing beacon signals
a bit earlier than usual.

"1549-1559 UTC, 6 January 2022, I can hear/identify five 10 meter beacon
signals into EM71as.

"28.2082  AK2F    RANDOLPH, NJ     885 miles
28.234   K4DP    COVINGTON, VA    534 miles
28.236   W8YT    MARTINSBURG, WV  691 miles
28.270   WA3NFV  FAIR HILL, PA    838 miles 
28.296   W3APL   LAUREL, MD       733 miles"

Al, W1VTP in New Hampshire wrote on January 5:

"Don't know if you are interested in 75m local comm or not but last
night was the pits. We did all our communications using the
Washington SDR receiver and it was mostly successful. Point to point
comm useless."

I think what happened was the ionosphere directly above his area was
not dense enough to reflect 75 meter signals. We may think of local
75 meter signals depending on ground wave propagation, but in fact
it may depend on high angle signals reflected from the overhead

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers,
please email the author at,  

For more information concerning shortwave radio propagation, see and the ARRL Technical Information
Service web page at, For an
explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at More good
information and tutorials on propagation are at

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL
bulletins are at .

Sunspot numbers for December 30, 2021 through January 5, 2022 were
77, 53, 52, 25, 12, 12, and 24, with a mean of 36.4. 10.7 cm flux
was 102.4, 101.5, 93.9, 89, 84, 85.5, and 83.7, with a mean of 91.4.
Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 4, 11, 10, 12, 6, and 3, with
a mean of 7.7. Middle latitude A index was 7, 2, 9, 7, 9, 5, and 3,
with a mean of 6.


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