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ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP043 (2020)

ARLP043 Propagation de K7RA

QST de W1AW  
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 43  ARLP043
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  October 23, 2020
To all radio amateurs 

ARLP043 Propagation de K7RA

Sunspots appeared every day of the past reporting week, and compared
to the previous seven days, average daily sunspot number increased
from 13.1 to 15. Average daily solar flux rose from 73.1 to 74.5.
Geomagnetic indicators were up slightly, with average daily
planetary A index rising from 2.7 to 5, and middle latitude A index
from 1.9 to 4.1.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 75 on October 23-27, 72
on October 28, 70 on November 1-7, 73 on November 8-10, 72 on
November 11, 71 on November 12-13, 70 on November 14-23, 72 on
November 24-27, and 73 on November 28 through December 6.

Predicted planetary A index is 18 and 20 on October 23, 15 on
October 24-26, 12 on October 27, 10 on October 28, 8 on October 29,
and 5 on October 30 through November 6, 10 on November 7, 5 on
November 8-15, then 10, 15 and 18 on November 16-18, 20 on November
19-20, then 24, 14 and 10 on November 21-23, 8 on November 24-25,
and 5 on November 26 through December 6.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH sent us his geomagnetic activity forecast for the
period October 23 to November 18, 2020.
"Geomagnetic field will be
quiet on: November 5-7, 10-13
quiet to unsettled on: October 31, November 3, 14-15
quiet to active on: October 28-29, (30,) November (1, 4,) 16
unsettled to active: October (24,) 27, November 2, (8-9,) 17-18
active to disturbed: October (23, 25-26)
"Solar wind will intensify on: October (23-25,) 26-29, (30,) 31,
November (2-3,) 4-5, (12-14,) 15-18.
"Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement."

This report from Jeff, N8II in West Virginia:

"It took a while (first 10 days of October were pretty dismal), but
recently there has been an opening to Europe daily here on 15M and
perhaps conditions on 15 are better than the same time last year.
Conversely, very little has been heard on 12 or 10M CW or phone.
Last year featured some loud SA signals on 10M in the late
afternoon. I was busy today, October 22nd, no activity.

"It was October 10th when I started seeing 15M EU QSOs in my log.
MI0SAI in Northern Ireland was 59 at 1525Z on SSB and SJ6A in Sweden
was about S5-7 at 1542Z. Sunday the 11th I had some time to operate
and worked Germany, England, Italy, Netherlands, and Croatia all
with S7 or better signals on SSB between 1417-1527Z.

"One thing seems apparent, the MUF is so close to 21 MHz that each
opening is somewhat different in coverage and peak time of
propagation. Some other highlights: EU1KY in Belarus on SSB at
1306Z, OZ8KW in Denmark at 1411Z, SP9LCW in Poland at 1414Z, SM5YOC
Sweden at 1416Z and SM3LBP at 1528Z, OD5OZ Lebanon at 1608Z (quite
late for him) on the 12th. On the 13th I worked LY2TS in Lithuania
on CW at 1516Z and I had a CW pile up of mostly western EU until
1552Z with best DX being southern Russia, R6MI at 1544Z and UR7QC at
1547Z. Signals seem to completely or nearly fade by 1630Z and
decrease right after 1600Z. On the 16th 9K2HS Kuwait was my first
QSO on CW at 1532Z and he was S5-6, but heard me on first call. On
the 18th I logged 7Z1IS Saudi Arabia 5x7 at 1407Z. On the 19th,
there was a very strong opening to the UK from 1515-1548Z, but not
much happening earlier. On the 20th OH5LF Finland was 59+ when we
signed on SSB 1407Z; his antenna was 5 over 5 element yagis and he
was running 1.5 KW remote from his summer cottage.

"There were strong EU SSB signals on the 20th from 1330-1510Z after
starting with 9K2HS S5 on SSB. I worked 3 OD5 stations in Lebanon in
a row on SSB at 1500Z. The condition dropped rapidly after 1510Z,
very early for the band to close. Other stations worked during the
EU opening timeframe were ZS6TVB in South Africa and ZD7FT on St.
Helena Island with strong signals."

Mike Schaffer, KA3JAW of Easton, Pennsylvania (FN20jq) sent this:

"Yikes, October out-of-season single-hop sporadic-E (Es) is active
on the 6 meter band along the east coast!

"Saturday, October 17th from 5 to 7 PM eastern local time, 2100 to
2300 UTC.

"This day is twenty-five days past the Autumnal Equinox, if anyone
is keeping track.

"Once again, the unexpected happens during the early recovery out of
a Solar Minimum.

"I was monitoring the 6M FT-8 mode on 50.313 MHz with WSJT-X for Es
to show-up along the Gulf of Mexico coastal region.

"Then it happened, the first direct decodes in monitor receiving

"215700   3 -0.4 1527 ~  WA2FZW W4KBX EL98
220345  -2 -0.4 2178 ~  KK2DOG W4KBX EL98
220545  -1 -0.4 2177 ~  KC3PIB W4KBX EL98
220845  -9 -0.5 1566 ~  CQ K2IL EL97

"Grid Squares:
EL98 - central Florida, around Orlando
EL97 - south central, north of Lake Okeechobee

"Now that the band is open with the Es expanding further south, I
decided to try for any contacts down on the SSB calling frequency on
50.125 MHz.
"When I rolled down there, several operators were already having
conversations about how pleasant that the band came back to life
since the summer months.

"At 2252 UTC I put out the first CQ call, AG4N, Bill from West
Point, Georgia, which is like 300+ yards from the Alabama state line

"From my QTH to AG4GN - azimuth 230 degree, distance 771 air miles.

"I gave Bill a signal report of Readability (4), Signal (7) with

"The Es was being funneled as far away as Mobile, Alabama (996
miles) and Biloxi, Mississippi (1,045 miles).

"By 2335 UTC the band started to collapse with signal reports
sliding down to 2x2.

"No double-hop Es from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic or other
northern Caribbean Sea islands was heard.

"Even if the band sounds dead, I urge everyone to continue
monitoring the 6M SSB calling frequency, 50.125 MHz, then take it
one step further and make that CQ call. You might be pleasantly
rewarded even if you are running 10 watts into a 6M horizontal 1/2
wave dipole that is below eight feet off the ground."

A recent video from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW can be found online at, .

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 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

For customizable propagation charts, vist the VOACAP Online for Ham
Radio website at, .

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

Sunspot numbers for October 15 through 21, 2020 were 14, 14, 15, 28,
12, 11, and 11, with a mean of 15. 10.7 cm flux was 73.8, 75.3,
73.1, 75.9, 74.8, 74.7, and 73.7, with a mean of 74.5. Estimated
planetary A indices were 3, 4, 5, 3, 6, 4, and 10, with a mean of 5.
Middle latitude A index was 2, 4, 5, 3, 5, 3, and 7, with a mean of


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