SB PROP @ ARL $ARLP053
ARLP053 Propagation de K7RA
QST de W1AW
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 53 ARLP053
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA January 3, 2022
To all radio amateurs
SB PROP ARL ARLP053
ARLP053 Propagation de K7RA
Sunspot activity persisted this week, although the numbers were a
little lower. Average daily sunspot number declined from 124.4 to
110.1. Average daily solar flux slipped just slightly from 125 to
Average daily planetary A index went from 9.1 to 6.4, and average
middle latitude numbers changed from 6.4 to 4.4.
New sunspot groups appeared on December 25, 26 and 28.
Predicted solar flux over the next month is expected to peak at 130
on January 18 and 19, and the numbers are 100 on December 31, 2021,
100 on January 1 and 2, 2022, 98, 95 and 95 on January 3 to 5, then
90, 92 and 100 on January 6 to 8, 105 and 110 on January 9 and 10,
115 on January 11 to 13, 118 on January 14 and 15, then 122 and 128
on January 16 and 17, 130 on January 18 and 19, then 128, 125 and
120 on January 20 to 22, 125 on January 23 and 24, 122 on January
25, 120 on January 26 and 27, then 115, 110, 100 and 95 on January
28 to 31, 90 on February 1 and 2, 92 and 100 on February 3 and 4,
105 and 110 on February 5 and 6, and 115 on February 7 to 9.
Predicted planetary A index is 8, 5, 12 and 8 on December 31, 2021
through January 3, 2022, 5 on January 4 to 10, 10 on January 11 and
12, 5 on January 13 and 14, then 8 and 12 on January 15 and 16, 8 on
January 17 and 18, 5 on January 19 to 22, then 8, 10, 8 and 8 on
January 23 to 26, then 5 on January 27 through February 6 and 8 on
February 7 and 8.
"Weekly Commentary on the Sun, the Magnetosphere, and the Earth's
Ionosphere, December 30, 2021 (Continuation of Earth's magnetic
field activity predictions, published between 1978 and 2021.)
Solar activity was a little more vivid than we expected. Both spot
and flare activity predominated in the southern hemisphere, while
small coronal holes were observed mostly in the northern hemisphere.
This corresponded well with the irregular occurrences of the
slightly increased activity of the Earth's magnetic field, thus also
the irregularities in the daily course of the ionosphere parameters.
The surprise came after the increase in proton density in the solar
wind in the evening of December 29, where only a relatively small
increase in its group velocity was observed. The result in the
ionosphere was higher critical frequencies in the F2 layer in the
middle of the night and an increased occurrence of scattering and
extended reflections, especially on the morning of December 30."
Mike, KM0T in NW Iowa (EM13) wrote early on December 29 about 6
"Watching spaceweather.com for a few days, they predicted a few M
class flares hitting, but it seemed to have missed us. But I also
noticed that the flux was around 140 and knowing that a slight
disturbance could skew things the right way, I was somewhat aware of
Then I saw TEP-Chordal stuff happening on the 26th to ZL/VK, which
did not really surprise me thinking we got a few glancing blows from
the flares perhaps. However did not see many if any Midwest reports
so I sort of ignored it.
The next day I saw it again, but was busy. Then saw an email from
W7XU (Arliss in South Dakota) saying ZL was in. Sure enough turned
the radio on and got decodes from ZL7DX. It appeared that there was
an Es link in the Midwest to DM43 / XE area that was getting into
the TEP-Chordal hops. I believe ZL7 was working a few XEs on FT8,
so I found one decode and moved my tx up in freq, started calling
-17 report. He came back a few minutes later with -20 and then my
RR73 was answered 73 in same sequence. It all happened very quickly.
Then he was gone.
Thought it was My first ZL, then I found out it was ZL7.
Not sure anyone this far north and east worked him. The stacked 6
Ele 6M yagis were as low as possible, due to recent wind storms.
Bottom one is about 24 feet, then about 20 feet higher on the mast
for the upper one. 1.5KW, no preamp, Flex-6600."
Related to this, see an article by K9LA:
Grant, KZ1W wrote on the Western Washington DX Club email list on
"N6MZ and I were separately working EU stations a couple of weeks
ago on 12m well before local sunrise. Clearly, the short path
wasn't open, and we were mystified how that can happen.
This week I am working EU on 15m, well before sunrise.
Both bands are very limited on short path with sunrise here and
sunset in EU so close together at this time of year.
I found a possible explanation in K9LA's Propagation book (CQ): When
US amateurs point antennas at central Africa, towards the magnetic
equator, the higher level of ionization there often causes signals
to be scattered. If EU points south to SW a portion of their
signals will be side scattered west. The path is optimized roughly
between 1200 and 1500 UTC and some seeking of best azimuth is worth
trying. Should work on 10m if EU is there.
With QRO, a beam, and FT8 there is enough gain to make it work. Try
it if the 40m FT8 mess is too annoying. But I did work A71AE Qatar
LP 40m this week for a new band and a Marathon count.
I've used NE aimed scattering paths on 10m open to the Caribbean,
but not to EU. Different mechanisms I think. Learn something new
all the time."
"20 has been excellent to EU about 8 to 9 a.m. local. I've been
working my good friend DF9LJ who lives close to the Danish border on
CW and SSB at 599/59 the last few days. The band closes about 9:15
a.m. local. On 40 EU has been coming in at 7:30 AM local (1530
UTC) but I've been receiving the signals LP and SP simultaneously
which makes copy difficult at moderate CW speeds."
"On December 19 between 2032 UTC to 2035 UTC on 10 meter CW, I
worked Tord, SM3EVR and Per SM2LIY in that order. Both were 579-589
here in West Des Moines, IA. They both gave me a 559 report from my
100W and ground-mounted vertical. They disappeared ten minutes
"Some sporadic-E December 26 from Kansas to N5BO EM60 Florida. He
received me on 50.313 MHz FT8 at -21 dB. Stations along the Gulf
Coast and Texas worked New Zealand on 6 Meter FT8 with Es links to
Jeff, N8II wrote from West Virginia on December 30:
"I worked MI0SAI and EI9HX with S9 signals on 12M SSB about 1545 UTC
today. VE2CSI in CQ zone 2 (NE QC) was S9+25 db on 10M CW via Es at
the same time. The DxMaps MUF was above 30MHz in almost all
directions from FM19 at 1700 UTC, but I only worked one station in
San Jacinto county, TX plus Reno, NV on either F2 or double hop Es.
Sunday through Wednesday I worked EU on 10M with Tuesday being the
best day. Two stations in Scotland were S9 around 1400 UTC Tuesday
including Ian, MM0TFU who always seems to be there when band is
open. He now runs 400W to a 5 el yagi.
Also, I worked MI0SAI and an OE6 on 20M SSB at 2130 UTC Wednesday
about 25 minutes before my sunset and many hours past EU sunset with
possible Es aid."
For more information concerning shortwave radio propagation, see
http://www.arrl.org/propagation and the ARRL Technical Information
Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an
explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see
An archive of past propagation bulletins is at
http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good
information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.
Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL
bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins .
Sunspot numbers for December 23 through 29, 2021 were 143, 145, 117,
95, 85, 107, and 79, with a mean of 110.1. 10.7 cm flux was 129.8,
126.2, 130.7, 125.4, 123.9, 120.5, and 111.4, with a mean of 124.
Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 7, 3, 10, 9, and 7, with a
mean of 6.4. Middle latitude A index was 2, 3, 5, 2, 8, 6, and 5,
with a mean of 4.4.