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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP022 (2020)

ARLP022 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 22  ARLP022
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  May 29, 2020
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP022 Propagation de K7RA

No significant solar activity over the past week, and still no
sunspots observed since the end of April. According to, the percentage of spotless days in 2020 has inched
up another notch to 79%.  The percentage of days showing no sunspots
for all of 2019 was 77%.

Average daily solar flux for last week was 69.6, up from 69 during
the previous week. Average mid-latitude A index was 5.7, it was 4
during the previous week, and average planetary A index was 4.6, up
from 3.7 during the previous seven days.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 69 on May 29, and 70 on
May 30 through July 12.

Predicted planetary A index is 8 on May 29-31, 5 on June 1-14, 8 on
June 15-16, and 5 on June 17 through July 12.

On May 27 pointed toward an active region, possibly
a sunspot, just over our Sun's eastern horizon. You can see it via
the STEREO observatory at . Note that
in solar images, east is toward the left, from Earth's POV. They
expect it to come over the horizon and begin to point toward us on
Friday, May 29. On Thursday evening, I can see it just barely across
the horizon.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period May 29 to June 23, 2020
from OK1HH.

"Geomagnetic field will be
quiet on: May 31, June 2-5, 9-13
quiet to unsettled on: May 29-30, June 14, 19-20
quiet to active on: (June 1, 6-8, 15-18, 21)
unsettled to active: none predicted
active to disturbed: none predicted
"Solar wind will intensify on: June (6-7, 16-17).
- Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
- The predictability of changes remains lower as there are no indications."

On May 26, Martin McCormick, WB5AGZ in Stillwater, Oklahoma wrote:

"For several years, I have stored the channels between 29.600
through 29.680 plus at least 52.525 MHZ on a couple of scanners and
recorded the output. It is usually nothing at all or worse, spurs
and birdies from local sources such as computers and their networks
plus unidentified RF smog from our neighbors' houses.

"Even at it's worst, one could still tell that there just wasn't
much going on on 10 and 6 meters due to the absence of anything but

"The latter part of March and several days in April brought 10
meters to life while the first week in May was mostly dead but after
that, I am not sure I have heard a single day without some
significant openings to the Eastern United States and generally
areas within a 1,000 mile radius of the central continental US. One
geographical factor if you live in the central US is that the
population density is generally less for great swaths of land to our
West until you hit the urban parts of Arizona, Nevada and California
such as the Los Angeles area.

"I heard 2 amateurs in Wyoming, for instance, who were within ground
wave range of each other. One was N7DMO Riverton in Central Wyoming
and W7WLK, near by, whose signals probably would have both been full
quieting on 29.6 but the discone antenna I am using is actually
rated for 50-500 MHZ. Our computer network is to blame for a small
amount of low-level noise on that frequency so there are noticeable
heterodynes but they were booming in and commenting that 10 meters
was open to Oklahoma.

"Most of what we hear here on 10 and 6 during single-hop sporadic-E
is pretty much Southern Canada and New York to Florida along with
Southern Texas, Mexico, Central America and occasionally the West
Coast from San Francisco down to Southern California.

"The Northern Midwest down to Iowa and Nebraska is a common DX catch
on 10 meters and 6.

"It is nice this year to not have as much local interference such as
the touch lamp some neighbors down the street got a few years ago
that spewed birdies from around 25 MHZ well into low VHF until they
thankfully moved out and then there were the grow lamps, I think,
which, when on, knock about 10 dB off the bottom end of reception.
They start up with a sort of blip-blip-blip-bzzzzzz, which is
probably a gas discharge tube coming to life and shedding light on
budding plants whose DNA sequences are still illegal in Oklahoma
except for medical use. The sound is a broad-band hiss modulated by
a buzz at AC line frequencies.

"Whatever it was, it seems to be absent this year and I am eternally

Bob Kulacz, KB1DK in Trumbull, Connecticut wrote on May 23:

"How about this one.

"While I was waiting my turn to work OE8ANK on 40 SSB at 0345z on
May 21, he was called by and worked YD2DOP. OE8ANK was surprised by
the contact and asked for confirmation of his QTH. YD2DOP was heard
loud and clear here in Connecticut, S8 to S9. Was I hearing YD2DOP
over the north pole or was it long path over the dark south pole? It
was just about high noon in Indonesia. I was never expecting to hear
a signal from that location on 40 at that hour."

W0TTY is in CN87 (where I am, Seattle area) and is using a small
mobile antenna (Comet UHV-6) indoors. He uses FT8, and has made many
contacts on 6 and 10 meters. Check his page on for a picture
of his tiny antenna!  He writes,

"May 24th UTC looks like the big day with the big opening.  25th had
the two Indonesian stations 5 minutes apart.  I saw them for only
maybe 30 minutes and they were gone.
"2020-05-27    17:20     XE2GF DM12LM   50.315 -19 R -19 S  50W
2020-05-27     17:12     NC6K DM13      50.314
2020-05-25     22:46     N9LD EM69      28.076
2020-05-25     18:25     NA6G DM06      28.076
2020-05-25     17:39     K7UW DM43      28.076  
2020-05-25     17:38     N1AV DM43      50.315 
2020-05-25     17:20     N3QQ CN87      50.315
2020-05-25     17:16     K7BAB CN87     50.315

"2020-05-25    04:25     KE8FT CM98     28.076    Oakland CA
2020-05-25     04:22     KG6RYV CM87    28.076    Davis CA

"2020-05-25    03:39     YB1MIG OI32    14.076 -10 R -17 S   75W
2020-05-25     03:34     YB1NWE OI33    14.076 -24 R -13 S   75W"

He listed many others, far too many to report here.

The latest video from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, as of May 28:

This weekend is the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest:

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 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

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 21 through 27, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 70.2, 70.8, 69.1, 68.8,
70.3, 69.7, and 68, with a mean of 69.6. Estimated planetary A
indices were 5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 4, and 3, with a mean of 4.6. Middle
latitude A index was 8, 7, 4, 5, 7, 3, and 6, with a mean of 5.7.


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