Propagation Forecast – February 16, 2018



Propagation Forecast Bulletin 7  ARLP007
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA  February 16, 2018

To all radio amateurs


Solar activity increased over the last reporting week (February 8-14). Average daily sunspot number rose from 10.3 to 24, while average daily solar flux increased from 72.5 to 77.4. Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average planetary A index changing from 4.4 to 4.1, and average mid-latitude A index going from 3.6 to 3. Predicted solar flux is 71, 70 and 69 on February 16-18, 68 on February 19-22, 69 on February 23-28, 72 on March 1, 75 on March 2-3, 78 on March 4-13, 76 on March 14-15, 72 on March 16, 70 on March 17-21, 69 on March 22-27, 72 on March 28, 75 on March 29-30, and 78 on March 31 and April 1.

Predicted planetary A index is 18, 12, 10 and 8 on February 16-19, 5 on February 20 through March 3, 8 on March 4, 5 on March 5-13, then 8, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, 10 and 8 on March 14-21, 5 on March 22-30, 8 on March 31 and 5 on April 1.

Geomagnetic activity forecast from F.K. Janda, OK1HH for the period

February 16 to March 15, 2018.  “Geomagnetic field will be:

  • Quiet on February 26, March 10
  • Mostly quiet on February 19, 24-25, March 1-3, 11-13
  • Quiet to unsettled on February 20-23, March 5-8, 14
  • Quiet to active on February 17, 27-28, March 9, 15
  • Active to disturbed on February 16, (18, March 4)
  • “Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on February 19, further development cannot be predicted.

“Remark: – Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.”

A new space weather video from Dr. Tamitha Skov dated February 15 is available at:

February 4 was the last day that a new sunspot appeared. Before that February 2 and January 30 each showed a new spot. The most recent day with no sunspots was February 3.

The ARRL International DX CW Contest is this weekend. See for details.

Jeff, N8II reports from West Virginia:

“There has not been much happening on 15M again this week, very little heard from AF or EU. I did work EA8/DK6TR Canary Islands on 15M CW at 1548Z and SA was loud when I returned from antenna work and major rope tangle on spool (took over 1 hour to free 90 feet of rope!).

“Fred, K6IJ/KH6 operating from big station KH6LC was about S8 at 2145Z on 15M phone. I have been running a DXCC band/mode chase since last January and now have 64 countries on 160M CW, 90 on 80M CW, a surprising 92 on 30M CW (activity quite poor), 162 on 20M CW/142 phone, and despite awful conditions now, last year provided 36 countries on 10M CW/31 on phone.

“Today Feb 15, I added 8P9NX Barbados on 80M and 160M CW, CU2DX Azores on 160M CW (all 16th UTC), JY4CI on 30M CW, MW0YDK Wales and Z60A Kosovo on 17M CW, C5DX Gambia on 17M CW, ER3MM on 20M CW, and J62P/39 St. Lucia on 20M phone, a very good day in only about 2 hours total!

“Last night, on February 14, I added CN2DF Morocco and CT8/R7KW Azores on 80M CW, and GW3YDX on 160M CW. Then, after 2400Z J6/KG9N St. Lucia and LA5HE, Norway on 160M CW at 0058Z, and KP4EE at 0230Z on 40M CW. I was not very tired at 0430Z, so I went to shack and worked 160M CW finding OH2BO, Finland a booming 599. Then, I decided to try CQs with my not so mighty 200W, 3 tries no answers, so I spotted myself and started the best run of Europeans I have ever had on 160M!

“I was called by YU4DX, Serbia (new), Czech Republic, RA2FV Kaliningrad, two 3rd area Russians, Germany, Sweden, OH3XR, Greece, Latvia, and OH1ND. All were very Q5 copy except for RD3R and many S9! Then, I added 2 more new ones on 160M CW, V31YN Belize (who was S9) and EU7A Belarus.

“Conditions on 20M are very good to EU every day with Russia fading out by 1500Z and not much left after 1800Z with many west coast to EU QSOs observed.

“The long path to Australia on 20 is in from around 2000-2200Z, but poor activity. 17M is open to somewhere in EU almost every day, but signals in general are weak and activity is low. In the PACC Dutch contest last Saturday, the low bands were down from normal. But, I still managed 2 Dutch contacts on 160M, 22 Qs on 80M, and 31 on 40M (missed some of best conditions when out to dine).”

Bil Paul, KD6JUI of Dixon, California wrote on February 9:

“Was out in my kayak today trying out a new home-built antenna tuner and 10w with my KX3. End-fed half-wave wire vertical cut for 20m.  Slightly brackish water. Before I packed up and paddled the couple miles back to dock (near Suisun, CA) I thought I’d try for one contact. 17m was dead, so I went down to 20 CW. Answered a Japanese CQ and got him immediately with a 439 signal report. I gave him a 529.  QSB. He was using a 3-el Yagi. Refreshing to know one can still get QRP DX despite under whelming solar flux.”

Bob Kile, W7RH of Las Vegas, Nevada wrote:

“I’m looking for some archived Aurora Forecast Ovation-Prime model images from Solar Cycle 23 solar minimum.

“I’m interested in how much tilt in North America the auroral ring shows as a result of geomagnetic pole shift.

“Can you point me in the right direction. NASA does not show any public archive.”

Can anyone help? You can reach Bob via his email address on his listing.

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 February 8-14, 2018 were 22, 23, 35, 24, 26, 20, and 18, with a mean of 24. 10.7 cm flux was 77.5, 78.1, 78.2, 78.2, 78.6, 75.9, and 75.3, with a mean of 77.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 7, 3, 4, 3, and 3, with a mean of 4.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 7, 2, 3, 3, and 2, with a mean of 3.


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