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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP043 (2019)

ARLP043 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 43  ARLP043
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  October 25, 2019
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP043 Propagation de K7RA

Over the past week, on Monday, October 21, 10.7 cm solar flux sunk
to possibly the lowest level in recorded history. Solar flux was 64,
which is even lower than the 64.4 value recorded way back on July 2,
1954 at the start of Solar Cycle 19, by far the biggest solar cycle
ever recorded. I understand that solar flux dipped to 64.2 in 1906.

The average solar flux this past week was lower than the perhaps
all-time lowest weekly average reported in this bulletin (66) back
in ARLP035 in August: .

Over the recent reporting week, October 17-23, average daily solar
flux was 65.3, two points lower than last week.  Average daily
planetary A index dropped from 6.4 to 4.7, while average daily
mid-latitude A index declined from 5.1 to 3.1. And of course, there
were no sunspots.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 65 on October 25
through November 1, and 66 on November 2 through December 8.

Predicted planetary A index is 30 and 18 on October 25-26, 15 on
October 27-28, 8 on October 29, 5 on October 30 through November 16,
then 15, 8 and 5 on November 17-19, then 20 and 24 on November
20-21, 15 on November 22-23, then 12 and 8 on November 24-25, and 5
on November 26 through December 8.

But even with such record low solar activity, HF propagation still
exists, occasionally to a surprising degree. Recently it seems as if
most of the HF propagation reports I receive involve the FT8 mode,
which has a remarkable ability to dredge up signals from what sound
like noise to our ears.

But I received a second-hand report from W7WA and K7CW who attended
a ham club meeting a few days ago in Mason County, Washington where
WA4ELK reported working Lithuania and Belarus on 10 meter SSB at
0900 UTC October 22 using low power and a bazooka antenna.

Certainly an odd opening at an odd time of the day and I hope to
track down more details.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period October 25-November 19,
2019 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH.

"Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on October 30, November 8-9, 12-14, 18-19
Quiet to unsettled on November 4-7, 10-11, 15-17
Quiet to active on October 28-29, 31, November 2-3
Unsettled to active on November 1
Active to disturbed October 25 (-27)

"Solar wind will intensify on October 25-26, November (7-9,) 13,

"Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement."

Jon Jones, N0JK reported from Kansas, an E-skip and trans-equatorial
opening October 17-18 on 6 meters from North America to South

"I didn't hear or work any South America. I worked on 6 meter Es
NZ3M (FN10), N3BBI (FN20, W5PUF (rare DL99) and XE2JS (DL78). CX9AU
spotted KF0M EM17 around 0030z October 18.

"Today October 24 strong solar wind from a coronal hole arrived in
the afternoon causing Aurora in Alaska. The Kp went to 4 and 10
meters opened. The 5K0K DXpedition was loud on 28.430 MHz SSB into
the Midwest and logged at 2043z. 12 meters was also good, with ZD8SC
59 plus on 24.437 MHz, which I worked at 2039z. I was 'fixed mobile'
with 100 watts and a 1/4 wave vertical on each band. So far no
enhanced conditions on 6 meters."

Ken Brown, N4SO reports from Alabama:

"Notes on 18.100 MHZ FT8 October 20.

"For October 20, I have never seen so many European Russia, Ukraine,
Latvia, Lithuania, or Slovak Republic stations on FT8. Here is a
partial listing. The time is around 1400 UTC:

"134715 -18  0.1 1633  CQ LY2GV KO15      Lithuania
140045 -18  0.4 2025  CQ YL2IP KO27      Latvia
140230  -4  0.5 1900  W1FNJ UX1IW KN87   (Serge, Donetsk, Ukraine)
140230 -15  0.4 2270  CQ NA RN3OG KO91   EU Russia
140230  -7  0.4 1605  CQ DX RA1AOB KO59  EU Russia
140545  -7  2.0  320  CQ NA UT7HA KN69   Ukraine
140615  -7  0.5  428  CQ OM2GM JN87      Slovak Rep.
140615  -6  0.3 1354  CQ DX UA6BRD LN05  EU Russia"

For Maritime Mobile on merchant ships, here is one that Francois
F5MYK/MM contacted on 7.074 MHZ FT8, October 19.  F5MYK info is on

"How late does 18.100 MHZ FT8 stay open? I have decoded Hawaii KH6AQ
at 0357 UTC.  

"22 October 035715 -18  0.2 1831 -  RZ9O KH6AQ R-18

"The usual closing for 18.100 MHZ is around 0100 UTC."

This arrived too late for last week's bulletin:

"There was a nice Es and TEP opening on 6 meters Thursday evening.
At about 0030Z on October 18 I checked 6 meters activity on the
DXMaps website and was surprised to see lots of contacts indicated
in the central and southeastern parts of the USA. They were mostly
800 to 1000 miles long and appeared to be Es. There were also some
longer contacts from the southeastern USA to northern South America
that looked like TEP. The site showed that most stations were using
FT8 on 50.313 MHz.

"As I monitored the band I started hearing stations (I live in EN57,
in Michigan's Upper Peninsula). Over the next hour I worked four
stations in Texas and Oklahoma:

"0039Z K5GKC -13 -11 50313 50W FT8 EM13
0047Z W5PUF -9 -12 50313 50W FT8 DL99
0101Z KC5WX +8 -10 50313 50W FT8 EM13
0111Z WB5GVY -12 -14 50313 50W FT8 EM10

"For the next hour I heard WB5GVY working other stations and calling
CQ but I did not hear any other activity after 0115Z. The DXMaps
website showed some activity that slowly faded away while the center
of the activity moved west across the USA. I stopped listening and
went to bed at about 0400Z.

"I have been fairly active on 6 meters for the past 10 years,
doing meteor scatter in the early morning hours, and then other
modes later in the day. Sporadic E is very common during the Summer
months here in the far north central section of the USA; it usually
starts in early May and ends in late August. This year (2019) I had
a short Es opening to Colorado and Arizona during the ARRL September
VHF contest in mid-September. That was the first time in 10 years
that I saw any Es activity in September. I have never before seen
any Es in October on 6 meters.  Have you had other reports of Es
during the fall months in the USA?

"I have a very modest station on 6 meters, 100W to a homebrew 5
element Yagi at about 13 feet up.  Danny KB8W EN57sf."

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 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

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 October 17 through 23, 2019 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 66.1, 66.1, 66, 65, 64,
65.6, and 64.5, with a mean of 65.3. Estimated planetary a indices
were 6, 6, 5, 6, 5, 3, and 2, with a mean of 4.7. Middle latitude A
index was 4, 4, 3, 4, 4, 2, and 1, with a mean of 3.1.


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