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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP021 (2020)

ARLP021 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 21  ARLP021
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  May 22, 2020
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP021 Propagation de K7RA

Still no sunspots to report. reported on May 20
that the current stretch of days with no sunspots has now reached
18.  And with that the 2020 percentage of days with no sunspots has
risen to 77%, equal to 2019.  Until May 15 that statistic stood at

Average daily solar flux for the week rose to 69, marginally higher
than last week's average of 68.5.  Average planetary A index
declined from 4.1 to 3.7, while average mid-latitude A index shifted
from 4.7 to 4.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 70, every day from May
22 through July 5.  Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 22 til
June 14, 8 on June 15 and 16, and 5 on June 17 through July 5.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period May 22 til June 16,
2020 from F. K. Janda, OK1HH.

"Geomagnetic field will be
Quiet on:  May 25 to 31, June 2 to 5, 9 to 13
Quiet to unsettled on:  May 22 to 24, June 14
Quiet to active on:  (June 1, 6 to 8, 15 and 16)
Unsettled to active on:  - none predicted!
Active to disturbed:  - none predicted!

Solar wind will intensify on: May (23,) 24, June (6 and 7)

- Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
- The predictability of changes remains lower as there are no

Scotty, W7PSK in Everett, Washington wrote on May 21, "6 meter E
Skip for me blew open with a bang.  I've rarely heard USA stations
as it is on 6 since I've been on it (about 3 years).  I was just on
and with my Pipsqueak station (steppIR 3 elem beam with 4th passive)
I just worked J68, KP4 and FG8."

AA8WH reports from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, "I been listening
over the last few days.  Yesterday, May 20 6 meters has been open at
various times all day.  Sometimes, FT8 would be up, stay up for a
while, then a few minutes later would fade back into the noise.

Figured that must've been sporadic E.  I went down to 10m and it was
quiet, but 12m was open, as was 15m.  17m and 20m were hopping most
of the day.  I was able to hear the W1AW broadcasts up to 15m and
sometimes 10m."

Dave, W5BU reported on May 16, "Yesterday, here in central Texas
(EM11), six meters was really booming and the waterfall was
completely filled with signals.  Most of the signals were within the
continental US and down south into Mexico and Caribbean.  I quickly
fired up the rig and amp and proceeded to work almost 20 new grids
and six new grids in Mexico.  The most notable QSO was with XE2IF
at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Sur Peninsula (Cabo
San Lucas).  Additionally there were multiple contacts into Canada.
The amp was needed to complete the QSO with the Baja station as he
must have had difficulty in copying my signals.  I kept hoping that
the propagation would extend into Hawaii/Alaska, but no such luck.

My present antenna is a U.S. Army OE-254 bi-conical vertical at 30'
as my 4 element loop fed Yagi is still waiting for a tower climber
for installation on my tower.  My goal is WAS award on six meters,
but I am presently stuck at 39 states and six countries confirmed
with my modest antenna setup.  I pulled the plug about 9:30PM local
time and uploaded my log."

It is nice to read a good science based article about solar activity
in the popular press.  I subscribe to a service that sends me every
news article that mentions "sunspot", and some of them are quite
bad, and not exactly fact based.  The worst offenders in my opinion
are the British tabloids.  But this article is a good one:

Jeff, N8II in West Virginia reported on May 18, "The last week has
been amazing for 28 MHz Es with multi hop openings to EU, AF,
Caribbean, SA, Central America, Mexico, CA, and CO from here!

The first opening I noticed was May 8th on 10M SSB into Pensacola,
FL and to KP3JL in Puerto Rico about 1520Z.  Then on the evening of
May 9th, I worked HI8AT and HI8RD in the Dominican Republic, KP4TF
and WP4IRV in Puerto Rico all with signals well over S9 on SSB
except TF on CW.  It sounded more like F2 although impossible with
our very low SFI.  On May 11 there was a good opening to W4s, 5s,
and southern 0s from 2227 to 2300Z when I QRTed.  At 2339Z FG4SO,
Guadeloupe was an easy QSO on SSB who was S7 here.  Then, I worked
WP4OCB and and KP3JL, then TI2GBB, Costa Rica, and HI8AT all on 10M

The 14th was absolutely amazing starting off with a couple of QSO's
with ME on SSB.  At 2207 CT3MD, Madeira Is. was S9 and easily worked
on CW, followed at 2232Z by HK1MW, Columbia S9+, CT1GFK and CT1EWX
both weak form Portugal with KP4TF booming in again as well all on
CW.  This is probably the earliest in the Es season that I have ever
worked EU on 10M.  From then until 2300Z, NP4ET, KP4CQ, and KP4ARR
all better than S9 were worked.  I heard Brazil and Argentina on CW
calling stations.  Returning at 2334Z, I found Steve, HP9SAM, Panama
and S9+ HC5DX from Ecuador on SSB, YY4RCT, Venezuela answered my SSB
CQ about S5.  Also worked 9Z4Y, Trinidad on CW and loud HC5RF on

On the 15th, I caught up with HH2AA, Haiti who had been spotted
earlier in the week who was S9 at 1931Z on CW.  Then at 2110Z, K6BIG
in Pasadena, CA answered my CQ on SSB.  At 2237Z, CT3MD was logged
S9 on 12M CW.  Then starting 2337Z HK1ANP was S7 on 10M CW and he
kindly moved to 12M CW for me and was also S7 there.  XE1HON, Mexico
called me on SSB, then I found XE1XR on CW and 4A60I (also Mexico)
at 0011Z (16th) on SSB both S9."

Regular contributor David Moore sent this article about the Parker
Solar Probe:

Another article about solar minimum:

Tom Scott, N5GIT reported from San Antonio (EL09), "Made an
impressive run on 6 meters FT8 Mother's Day evening (May 10).  Out
of 133 stations that heard me according to pskreporter, I made
contact with 41 stations during a 4-hour stint well into the
midnight hour from Canada to Cuba!"

The latest from Dr. Skov:

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

For more information concerning radio propagation, see and the ARRL Technical Information
Service 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

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve
overseas locations are at

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

Sunspot numbers for May 14 through 20, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
and 0, with a mean of 0.  10.7 cm flux was 67.6, 67.8, 69.4, 69.6,
70.2, 68.7, and 69.6, with a mean of 69.  Estimated planetary A
indices were 3, 4, 4, 3, 4, 5, and 3, with a mean of 3.7.  Middle
latitude A index was 3, 4, 4, 3, 5, 6, and 3, with a mean of 4.


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