This weeks propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 4th November 2022.
We had yet another week of good HF propagation, despite a strong solar wind that threatened to push the geomagnetic Kp index up, but it generally never managed more than a four in the first half of the week.
The solar flux index managed to hit 130 on Thursday, having been in the 120s all week, but the sunspots have been quite weak and small.
On Thursday the Kp index rose again, hitting five due to the enhanced solar wind from an Earth-facing coronal hole. Nevertheless, the Fairford Digisonde registered a critical frequency of 9.925MHz, giving a maximum useable frequency in excess of 35MHz over a 3,000km path around lunchtime. This may have been a pre-auroral enhancement as it didn’t last long – the MUF was soon down to 28.8MHz. Please note the Chilton Digisonde has been down again, so if this continues please switch to Fairford at Propquest.co.uk.
The upper HF bands have been very lively with much DX being worked. The 5V7RU Russian DXpedition team in Togo have made it into many logs, as have the J28MD team in Djibouti.
Transatlantic 10m signals remain very strong during daylight, reflecting the good HF propagation at this point in the year, switching to South America as the Sun is setting.
Next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will likely remain in 120s. It also predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 10th, 11th and 12th when the Kp index may once again rise to five.
If you have been putting off getting onto HF you are really missing out!
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
The unsettled weather pattern is still the dominant story for the coming week with a series of lows either across the country or sitting over the nearby Atlantic, bringing periods of rain and strong winds, plus showery interludes in between.
This raises the issue of rain scatter for another week on the GHz bands. There are probably just two periods with ridges of higher pressure. The first crosses the country on Friday night at the start of the week and the second develops over the English Channel at the end of next week, so limited Tropo options once again.
November is a good month for meteor scatter with the Leonids shower starting today and peaking around the 16th. Expect some increasing signs of meteor scatter activity as the week progresses.
The solar conditions continue to provide coronal holes and the prospect of geomagnetic storms, so keep a watch on the Kp index, with a high index warning of auroras.
As for Sporadic-E, we are in the doldrum month of November which rarely provides anything dramatic, but the usual procedure of monitoring the foEs graphs on Propquest.co.uk should reveal if anything is afoot.
Moon declination is positive again with Moon windows lengthening as the week progresses. Path losses are still low but increasing and apogee is still over a week away. 144MHz sky noise is low in the coming week.