No significant solar activity over the past week, and still no sunspots observed since the end of April. According to Spaceweather.com, the percentage of spotless days in 2020 has inched up another notch to 79%. The percentage of days showing no sunspots for all of 2019 was 77%.
Average daily solar flux for last week was 69.6, up from 69 during the previous week. Average mid-latitude A index was 5.7, it was 4 during the previous week, and average planetary A index was 4.6, up from 3.7 during the previous seven days.
Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 69 on May 29, and 70 on May 30 through July 12.
Predicted planetary A index is 8 on May 29-31, 5 on June 1-14, 8 on June 15-16, and 5 on June 17 through July 12.
On May 27 Spaceweather.com pointed toward an active region, possibly a sunspot, just over our Sun’s eastern horizon. You can see it via the STEREO observatory at https://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/. Note that in solar images, east is toward the left, from Earth’s POV. They expect it to come over the horizon and begin to point toward us on Friday, May 29. On Thursday evening, I can see it just barely across the horizon.
Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period May 29 until June 23, 2020 from OK1HH.
Geomagnetic field will be
quiet on: May 31, June 2-5, 9-13
quiet to unsettled on: May 29-30, June 14, 19-20
quiet to active on: (June 1, 6-8, 15-18, 21)
unsettled to active: none predicted
active to disturbed: none predicted
Solar wind will intensify on June (6-7, 16-17)
– Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
– The predictability of changes remains lower as there are no indications.
On May 26, Martin McCormick, WB5AGZ, in Stillwater, Oklahoma wrote: “For several years, I have stored the channels between 29.600 through 29.680 plus at least 52.525 MHZ on a couple of scanners and recorded the output. It is usually nothing at all or worse, spurs and birdies from local sources such as computers and their networks plus unidentified RF smog from our neighbors’ houses. Even at its worst, one could still tell that there just wasn’t much going on on ten and six due to the absence of anything but noise.
“The latter part of March and several days in April brought ten meters to life. The first week in May was mostly dead but after that, I am not sure I have heard a single day without some significant openings to the Eastern United States and generally areas within a 1,000 mile radius of the central continental US. One geographical factor if you live in the central US is that the population density is generally less for great swaths of land to our West until you hit the urban parts of Arizona, Nevada and California such as the Los Angeles area.
“I heard two amateurs in Wyoming, for instance, who were within ground wave range of each other. One was N7DMO Riverton in Central Wyoming and W7WLK, nearby, whose signals probably would have both been full quieting on 29.6 but the discone antenna I am using is rated for 50-500 MHZ. Our computer network is to blame for a small amount of low-level noise on that frequency so there are noticeable heterodynes, but the stations were booming in and the operators were commenting that ten was open to Oklahoma.
“Most of what we hear here on ten and six during single-hop Sporadic E is pretty much Southern Canada and New York to Florida along with Southern Texas, Mexico, Central America and occasionally the West Coast from San Francisco down to Southern California. The Northern Midwest down to Iowa and Nebraska is a common DX catch on ten meters and six.
“It is nice this year to not have as much local interference such as the touch lamp some neighbors down the street got a few years ago that spewed birdies from around 25 MHZ well into low VHF until they moved out. And then there were the grow lamps, which knock about 10 dB off the bottom end of reception. They start up with a sort of blip-blip-blip-bzzzzzz, which is probably a gas discharge tube coming to life and shedding light on budding plants whose DNA sequences are still illegal in Oklahoma except for medical use. The sound is a broad-band hiss modulated by a buzz at ac line frequencies. Whatever it was, it seems to be absent this year and I am eternally grateful.”
Bob Kulacz, KB1DK, in Trumbull, Connecticut wrote on May 23: “How about this one? While I was waiting my turn to work OE8ANK on 40-meter SSB at 0345z on May 21, he was called by and worked YD2DOP. OE8ANK was surprised by the contact and asked for confirmation of his location. YD2DOP was heard loud and clear here in Connecticut, S8 to S9. Was I hearing YD2DOP over the North Pole, or was it long path over the dark south pole? It was just about high noon in Indonesia. I was never expecting to hear a signal from that location on 40 at that hour.”
W0TTY is in CN87 (where I am, Seattle area) and is using a small mobile antenna (Comet UHV-6) indoors. He uses FT8 and has made many contacts on 6 and 10 meters. Check his page on QRZ.com for a picture of his tiny antenna!
“May 24th UTC looks like the big day with the big opening. On the 25th I had two Indonesian stations 5 minutes apart. I saw them for only maybe 30 minutes, and they were gone.
2020-05-27 17:20 XE2GF DM12LM 50.315 -19 R -19 S 50W
2020-05-27 17:12 NC6K DM13 50.314
2020-05-25 22:46 N9LD EM69 28.076
2020-05-25 18:25 NA6G DM06 28.076
2020-05-25 17:39 K7UW DM43 28.076 > ___ these two are VERY interesting – Yaesu FTdx1200 band switching
2020-05-25 17:38 N1AV DM43 50.315 >
2020-05-25 17:20 N3QQ CN87 50.315
2020-05-25 17:16 K7BAB CN87 50.315
2020-05-25 04:25 KE8FT CM98 28.076 Oakland CA
2020-05-25 04:22 KG6RYV CM87 28.076 Davis CA
2020-05-25 03:39 YB1MIG OI32 14.076 -10 R -17 S 75W
2020-05-25 03:34 YB1NWE OI33 14.076 -24 R -13 S 75W”
He listed many others, far too many to report here.
Here is the latest video from Dr. Skov, as of May 28: https://bit.ly/2Xyb4Ik
This weekend is the CQ Worldwide WPX CW contest: https://cqwpx.com/
If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information concerning radio propagation, see http://www.arrl.org/propagation and the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.
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 May 21 through 27, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 70.2, 70.8, 69.1, 68.8, 70.3, 69.7, and 68, with a mean of 69.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 4, and 3, with a mean of 4.6. Middle latitude A index was 8, 7, 4, 5, 7, 3, and 6, with a mean of 5.7.
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