Propagation Forecast Bulletin 5 – February 2, 2018


From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA February 2, 2018
To all radio amateurs

ARLP005 Propagation de K7RA

Low solar activity continues. There were no sunspots seen from January 20-29, and the sunspot number was 13 on January 30-31, but back to 0 on February 1. Average daily solar flux declined marginally from 70 to 69.1.

Predicted solar flux is 70 on February 2, 71 on February 3-8, 70 on February 9-22, 69 on February 23 to March 4, 70 on March 5-18.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on February 2-3, 10 and 8 on February 4-5, 5 on February 6-8, then 8, 12 and 8 on February 9-11,
5 on February 12-14, then 8, 12, 8, 10, 5, 8, 10 and 8 on February15-22, 5 on February 23 to March 2, 8 on March 3-4, 5 on March 5-7,
then 8, 12 and 8 on March 8-10, 5 on March 11-13, then 8, 12, 8, 10 and 5 on March 14-18.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period February 2-28, 2018 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH.

“Geomagnetic field will be:

  • Quiet on February 2, 5-8, 12-14, 20
    Mostly quiet on February 3, 9, 17, 23, 25-27
  • Quiet to unsettled on February 11, 16, 18-19, 21-22
  • Quiet to active on February 4, 10, 15, 24, 28
  • Active to disturbed-not anticipated

“Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on February 5-6, 9-12, 18-19, 27-28

– Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
– With regard to ongoing changes, current forecasts are even less reliable.”

Joe Flamini, W4BXJ of White Hall, Virginia wrote on January 29:

“So, I usually leave the 10-meter rig scanning in the shack, and it’s usually quiet. So much so, in fact, that I forget it’s there. Imagine my surprise to hear a couple of ZLs talking mobile-to-mobile at about 1500 GMT on January 27. I reached out and had a 45-second QSO with them both before the link faded. That’ll never happen again!”

I checked back with Joe, and he told me it all happened so fast he didn’t log their call signs, but they were both mobile in the
Christchurch area, and I estimate the short path distance at about 8,800 miles.

The latest from Dr. Tamitha Skov can be seen at, .

Jeff Hartley, N8II of Shepherdstown, West Virginia wrote on February 1:

“The solar indices have been remarkably very similar day to day in January with K index seldom above 2, often 0 and SFI running 69-71. There are other factors that influence signal strength on 80 meters and even more so on 160 meters night to night.

“During the CQWW 160 Meter CW contest last weekend, I missed the best hours to EU around EU sunrise the first night, but EU signals did seem down considerably from 2300Z-0240Z when I operated and the
second night was even worse, about as poor as winter conditions ever get to EU.

“There were quite loud west coast signals around sunrise Saturday morning with two strong callers from VE7 (British Columbia) and a good signal from KH7M in Hawaii.

“The second night ZC4A, UK Sovereign Base Areas on Cypress, was calling CQ on my run frequency and I could not hear them at all, on
a few USA calling ZC4A. Sunday night after the contest ended ZC4A was 579!

“But, it was not until several nights later that I was able to complete a QSO on their last night of operation. I also worked them on 80 meters both modes, 40 meters both modes on January 26 (not very loud when worked there) and on 30 meters CW where they were
barely readable at 0541Z.

“Signals on 80 meters were quite a bit louder than the other bands. 40 meters seems to be improving to EU with some southern EU stations still having decent signals well into our evening.

“I have added quite a few band countries on the low bands lately(log started Jan 2017). And on the 26th on 80 meters CW I worked
TG9ADM Guatemala, CP4BT Bolivia (quite  rare), and less rare but more distant RI50ANO on the South Shetland Islands off of Antarctica.

“I also have logged Alex, RI50ANO on 40 meters phone and CW. By far the hardest to work DX recently was last night February 1 working UN9L Kazakhstan on 80 meters CW. He was weak but readable and heard
me right away, but it took several tries to get my call through.

“Over the last two months I have checked DX cluster 80 meters spots on him, only to hear nothing. The slightly increased daylight near
the North Pole seems to be improving conditions as of about Jan 20. 15 meters has been pretty close to dead even to Africa many days, but today C81G off the coast of Mozambique was worked on 15 CW and
EA6VQ Balearic Islands was S9+ there from 1615-1650Z. Even 17 meters is closed or very marginal to EU many days due to the low solar flux.

“The big DXCC news is the addition of Kosovo (Z6) to the DXCC list effective  January 21st. The Z60A club station has a good signal on 20 meters every day and they have worked the west coast there and on
40 meters. I logged them easily on the 21st on 20 CW, not a very large pile up, and also later on 20 SSB and 80 meters CW. They seem to have a high noise level on the low bands.”

David Moore sent this link about stellar magnetism:

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 ARRLTechnical 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 January 25-31, 2018 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 13, and 13, with a mean of 3.7. 10.7 cm flux was 70.3, 69.8, 68.8, 68.5,
68.2, 68.9, and 69.2, with a mean of 69.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 8, 6, 4, 4, 5, and 7, with a mean of 6.3. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 9, 7, 5, 2, 3, 3, and 5, with a mean of4.9.

ARRL is the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim as The American Radio Relay League, ARRL is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs.

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