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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP004 (2022)

ARLP004 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 4  ARLP004
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  January 28, 2022
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP004 Propagation de K7RA

A new sunspot group appeared on January 20 and another on January
24, two more on January 25 and one more on January 26. But overall
solar activity declined from the previous week, January 13-19.
Average daily sunspot number declined from 94.4 to 39.6, and average
daily solar flux went from 112 to 97.6.

On January 27 the daily sunspot number was 85, much higher than the
average of 39.6 of the previous seven days, always a good signal for
increasing activity.

Predicted solar flux is 105 on January 28 through February 4, 108 on
February 5-6, 110 on February 7-8, 108 on February 9-10, then 106,
105, 103, 101, 100 and 95 on February 11-16, 92 on February 17-18,
90 on February 19-21, then 88, 87, 92 and 94 on February 22-25, 96
on February 26-28, 98 and 100 on March 1-2, 105 on March 3-4, then
110 on March 5, and 108 on March 6-7.

Predicted planetary A index is 5, 12 and 10 on January 28-30, 5 on
January 31 through February 3, then 15 and 10 on February 4-5, 5 on
February 6-9, then 12, 15 and 12 on February 10-12, 5 on February
13-19, 8 on February 20-23, then 5, 12 and 10 on February 24-26, 5
on February 27 through March 2, then 15 and 10 on March 3-4, and 5
on March 5-8.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH wrote:

"Weekly Commentary on the Sun, the Magnetosphere, and the Earth's
Ionosphere - January 27, 2022 (Free continuation of my Earth's
magnetic field activity predictions, published between 1978 - 2021.)

"Since the end of last November, fluctuations in the level of solar
activity within the twenty-seven-day periodicity have been more
regular, which contributes to the success of the forecasts. This
also applies to the occurrence of coronal holes, so predictions of
the Earth's magnetic field activity are also more accurate
(including the next recurrent geomagnetic disturbance, which we
expect on/about February 4). The overall level of solar activity is
rising faster than long-term forecasts suggest, so it can be assumed
that the maximum of the current 11-year cycle will be higher than
the previous one."

"Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period January 28 to February
03, 2022:

"Quiet: Jan 28, Jan 31-Feb 3
Unsettled: Jan 29-31
Active: Jan 28-29, Feb 3-4
Minor storm: Feb 4
Major storm: 0
Severe storm: 0

"Geomagnetic activity summary:

"Friday, January 28, we expect quiet conditions. Then, starting
Saturday, January 29, we expect an unsettled to active period ending
by January 31. At the start of February, we expect quiet conditions
to Thursday, February 3. About February 3-4, we expect a new active
episode which can reach a minor storm level.

"Tomas Bayer, RWC Prague Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, Prague
Department of Geomagnetism Budkov observatory (BDV)."

On January 16 a local Seattle ham reported:

"Amazing Aurora opening on 10m Friday at 2100-2230 UTC, CW and SSB.
Northern Europe only, GM, DL, SP, UA1, EW, OZ, LA, SM, and best
signals were from OH. VERY unusual and first time Western Washington
big opening to EU in years, and it was worked by several W7s. DX
Maps showed lots of lines over the North Pole, very late night in

I often ignore stories from British tabloids, but this one seems to
be not overly alarmist:

Regarding rising activity versus forecasts, back in Propagation
Forecast Bulletin ARLP002 we included this link: .

WA7AA responded (edited):
"They went on to say sunspot counts exceeded predicted values for 15
straight months, and the monthly value at the end of December 2021
was the highest in 5 years and more than twice the value forecast by
the NOAA/NASA prediction panel.

"This isn't the first place I've seen this claim from the NOAA/NASA
prediction panel and I am wondering if you have any contacts in that
group to ask them for some clarification and explanation. There are
several problems with this 'over-performance' claim they excitedly
show in the link above. The first is that the graph on that link
places the last solar minimum several months after the actual
minimum that occurred in November 2019. That alone can skew any
subsequent analysis and make it prone to a misinterpretation.

"The next thing is the graph shows the length of their predicted
Solar Cycle 25 as 14 years long! This is nowhere near any cycle
length in recorded history that, as we all know, averages to around
11 years. No one can even predict a cycle length, so where did they
get this from?

"And finally, their predicted cycle graph is a smooth one peak cycle
(slow rising slopes as a result), while most cycles so far have been
dual peak cycles (steeper slopes and a sort of a plateau as a

"Once you add all three of these errors into the observation, it is
easy to make a claim that Solar Cycle 25 is over-performing the
predictions ('twice the value') made before it started, that
generally placed it in the same strength as Solar Cycle 24 within
the 5-10% margin.

"However, when the curve is adjusted to start in November 2019, when
it's compressed to the average 11 years length and tweaked to a
double peak graph (in other words, more or less carbon-copied the
Solar Cycle 24 graph), it quickly becomes obvious that Solar Cycle
25 is so far following the last cycle curve almost exactly,
insignificantly higher at 3-4 spots per month.

"A recent cycle comparison at,
confirms this observation.

"I am by no means an expert in propagation predictions in any way,
but it just seems weird that anyone connected to NOAA and/or NASA
would make such an error and proceed to stick to it for so long. Am
I missing something here? Was this a bad case of wishful thinking on
their part? I would like to know what their explanation is."

N0JK reported:

"A major sporadic-E opening on 6 Meters took place in the 2022 ARRL
January VHF Contest on Saturday afternoon January 15. Starting
around 2100 UTC, stations in Florida appeared in Kansas. The opening
grew and spread and by 2300 UTC 6 Meters was open to the entire
southeast part of the country.

"I received a PSK flag from ZF1EJ and logged XE2X (EL06). The
opening then spread east to Ohio and north to Minnesota (N0JCF
EN35). KF0M (EM17) worked Cuba and almost completed with HI3AA.  The
opening faded at 0046 UTC with K3VN (EL98)  last in my log.  I was
operating single operator portable 10 watts with MFJ-9406 and a 2 el
Yagi. Cold and windy!  The next morning a short 6 Meter Es opening
to Mexico with XE2YWH (DL92) worked at 1435 UTC.  All contacts FT8.

"The sporadic-E was a real treat for the January VHF Contest."

Here is a report from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW.

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 January 20 through 26, 2022 were 60, 23, 22, 22,
26, 53, and 71, with a mean of 39.6. 10.7 cm flux was 99.3, 97.3,
95.2, 93.5, 95.2, 100.9, and 101.8, with a mean of 97.6. Estimated
planetary A indices were 5, 8, 10, 8, 4, 13, and 10, with a mean of
8.3. Middle latitude A index was 5, 5, 7, 7, 3, 10, and 8, with a
mean of 6.4.


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