DX News – March 9, 2018


Propagation Forecast Bulletin 10 ARLP010
From Tad Cook, K7RA
Seattle, WA March 9, 2018
To all radio amateurs

ARLP010 Propagation de K7RA

Only one day (March 2) showed any sunspot activity over the past reporting week, with a daily sunspot number of 11 so average daily sunspot activity declined from 6 to 1.6. Average daily solar flux went from 68.3 to 67.6.

No sunspots have been seen since March 2.

Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average planetary A index dropping from 10.4 to 5.1, and mid-latitude A index from 7.4 to 4.6.

Predicted solar flux is 68 on March 9-15, 70 on March 16, 72 on March 17-29, 70 on March 30, 68 on March 31 through April 11, 70 on April 12, and 72 on April 13-22.

Predicted planetary A index is 12 and 10 on March 9-10, 5 on March 1-16, then 15 and 18 on March 17-18, 5 on March 19-20, then 12, 18, 10, 5, 8 and 20 on March 21-26, 5 on March 27-29, 8 on March 30-31, then 5 on April 1-3, 8 on April 4-5, 5 on April 6-9, then 10, 12, 12, 15 and 18 on April 10-14, 5 on April 15-16, then 12, 18, 10, 8,
5 and 20 on April 17-22.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period March 9 to April 3, 2018 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH.

“Geomagnetic field will be:

  • Quiet on March 12-13, 20, 29, April 1-2
  • Mostly quiet on March 9, 19, 24, 28, 30-31, April 3
  • Quiet to unsettled on March 10-11, 14-15, 19, 23, 25, 27
  • Quiet to active on March 16, 21-22
  • Active to disturbed on March 17-18, 26

“Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes cannot be predicted for the period before March 10, but I do not expect any significant upsurge. Then solar wind will intensify on March (10,) 16-18, (19-20, 25-26, April 3).

– Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
– With regard to ongoing changes, current forecasts remains less reliable especially in the first half of March.”

Regular contributor David Moore shared this Science Daily article with us concerning how magnetic waves heat the Sun’s atmosphere and propel solar wind:


From Jon Jones, N0JK:

“I went out fixed mobile on 10 meters early Sunday afternoon around 1900z March 4 in the ARRL DX SSB from eastern Kansas. 1/4 wave whip with 5 watts. Didn’t expect much on 10 with the SFI of only 68, but was pleasantly surprised with good conditions on 10.

“Sometimes the solar flux numbers don’t correlate well to the actual ionization. Both TEP to deep South America and one hop F2 skip to the Caribbean and northern South America was in. PJ4G, FM5AN and 8P5A were up to an honest 40 dB over S9. They were loud!

“Skip zones were very evident with others closer or further away much weaker.

“Saw Hawaii spotted to the west coast, no copy here. K6IJ in northern California said the Hawaiian stations were very loud. Shortest F2 heard was C6. Kudos to PZ5K for pulling my weak signal out of the noise. Ended up with 14 contacts in 11 countries.”

Jon sent this on March 8:

“Along with improved conditions on 10 meters March 4 in the ARRL DX SSB contest, on March 8, 6 meters opened for afternoon TEP across the geomagnetic equator between the Caribbean, Central America to deep South America starting around 2200z. Contacts were made using CW, SSB and the new FT8 digital mode. SFI 67, SSN = 0, K = 1.”

And on March 8:

“Jon N0JK — some 6 meter spots March 8:

“TI5/N5BEK 2256Z 50313.0 9db FT8 CX9AU
HI8PLE 2249Z 50313.0 FT8 -03 in GF05rk LW2DAF
ZF1EJ 2248Z 50313.0 FT8 -01 in GF05rk LW2DAF
HH2AA 2248Z 50130.0 Now in ssb calling CX9AU
NP2Q 2248Z 50313.0 FT8 -12 IN GF05rk LW2DAF
KP4S 2247Z 50110.0 LU4EFC
HH2AA 2246Z 50313.0 -10db in GF05rk LW2DAF
WP4CQ 2244Z 50110.0 Gracias x QSO! LU4EFC
HH2AA 2241Z 50103.0 tnx fer QSO..! 73 LU5DF
WP4CQ 2241Z 50101.0 tnx fer qso and 579 73 CX9AU
HH2AA 2232Z 50101.0 Now go to cw 50101 CX9AU
YS1AG/B 2227Z 50022.0 529 LU5DF
HH2AA 2226Z 50313.0 tnx 73 Dan CX9AU
WP4CQ 2222Z 50110.0 55 IN GF05rk LW2DAF
OA4B/B 2218Z 50036.3 539 LU5DF
HH2AA 2217Z 50313.0 FT8 LU1DKC
HI8PLE 2215Z 50125.0 59 gracias Edgar CX9AU
HI8PLE 2214Z 50125.0 S8 in GF05rk LW2DAF
HI8PLE 2212Z 50110.0 Gracias x QSO! LU4EFC
NP4BM 2211Z 50115.0 S8 in GF05rk LW2DAF
LU4EFC 2210Z 50110.0 HI8PLE
NP4BM 2208Z 50115.0 Gracias Victor 59 tambien CX9AU
NP4BM 2204Z 50110.0 55 Gracias Victor, 73 LU5DF
NP4BM 2202Z 50110.0 CQ 59 LW3EX”

This week I am not sure what Dr. Tamitha Skov means by “solar storms.” I don’t see any geomagnetic effects, at least since January 27:


The latest from Dr. Skov:

“This week finds me knee-deep leading the Space Weather Certification Committee for the American Meteorological Society. We’ve made some real headway this week and I wanted to share the good news. The committee has decided to focus its efforts on establishing a broadcast certification for getting information out
to the public, instead of going for a science-related, but more technical consulting certification for industry. This means we put YOU first!

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this decision. We are now free to concentrate on finding ways to train meteorologists and give them the tools they need to bring Space Weather into our living rooms. I have you to thank for keeping me honest and inspired as we continue building the future. We still have a long way to go, but today it feels like we are one step closer to the Sun.

“This week’s forecast finds amateur radio operators disappointed at the dimming of old region 2699. We had hoped it would stay bright and boost the solar flux, but instead it has retreated back underneath the surface of the Sun. This means HF radio propagation remains poor. As a consolation, the Sun has launched several solar
storms, including one that is Earth-directed.

“Along with some fast wind we are expecting over the next few days, this could bump us up to storm levels and bring us some more aurora, especially at high latitudes.

“Cheers, Tamitha!”

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at, k7ra@arrl.net .

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service web page 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/.

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for March 1 through 7, 2018 were 0, 11, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 1.6. 10.7 cm flux was 67.2, 67.8, 67.8, 67.5, 67.6, 67.6, and 67.8, with a mean of 67.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 6, 6, 5, 5, and 4, with a mean of 5.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 3, 5, 7, 5, 4, and 3, with a mean of 4.6.


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