QST de W1AW
Propagation Forecast Bulletin 9 ARLP009
From Tad Cook, K7VVV
Seattle, WA February 28, 2003
To all radio amateurs
SB PROP ARL ARLP009
ARLP009 Propagation de K7VVV
Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, is filling in for Tad Cook, K7VVV, who is away this week. Solar activity during the reporting period, Friday, February 21, through Thursday February 27, was very low to low. The largest X-ray flare was a C5 event on Saturday. There were no radio blackouts (R in the WWV announcement) or proton events (S in the WWV announcement) during the period.
Geophysical activity was quiet to active from Friday through Wednesday and ranged from unsettled to minor storm on Thursday. There were no significant geomagnetic storms (G in the WWV announcement) during the period. The minor storminess on Thursday only lasted about nine hours.
Solar Cycle 23 continues its descent. Cycle 23 peaked in April 2000 with a smoothed sunspot number of 121. A second peak occurred in November 2001 at a smoothed sunspot number of 116, which gave 6-meter aficionados worldwide F2 propagation. Cycle 23 is predicted to reach its minimum in the 2006-2007 timeframe.
This weekend is the ARRL International DX Contest (SSB). For the contest period, solar activity is expected to be low, and the geomagnetic field is expected to be unsettled. This translates to generally decent propagation. Cycle 23's decline will take its toll on 10 meters, however. The East Coast should still have decent 10-meter openings into Europe, and the West Coast should still have decent 10-meter openings into Asia. But 10-meter openings from the East Coast to Asia and from the West Coast to Europe, along with openings to Europe and Asia from the Midwest, could be tough. So enjoy 10 while you can. This contest is also a good opportunity to work new countries for your DXCC award.
Sunspot numbers for February 20 through 26 were 66, 87, 53, 41, 44, 48 and 45, with a mean of 54.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 118.3, 119.6, 106.6, 104, 102, 101.6 and 109.4, with a mean of 108.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 16, 13, 11, 11, 6, 5 and 16, with a mean of 11.1.