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Friday, March 29, 2013

Propagation de K7RA

29 March, 2013

Solar activity was down this week, with the average daily sunspot number less than half last week's figure, at 49.6. Average daily solar flux dropped 22 points to 97. Geomagnetic activity was quiet also.

The predicted solar flux is 95 and 100 on March 28-29, 105 on March 30-31, 110 on April 1-3, 115 on April 4, 120 on April 5-7, 125 on April 8-10, 120 on April 11-13, 115 on April 14, 110 on April 15, then it drops below 100 on April 20-24.

The predicted planetary A index is 22, 18 and 8 on March 28-30, 5 on March 31 through April 22, then 8, 18, 15 and 8 on April 23-26, and 5 through the end of April and into the first week in May.

Lee Gordy, W4KUT of Cartersville, Georgia wrote to say he just finished reading Carl Luetzelschwab's article "The Sun and the Ionosphere" in the March 2013 QST for the third time.

Lee wrote, "For me, It's consoling to know that knowledgeable professionals such as Carl Luetzelschwab are having exciting difficulties rounding up Ol' Sol's secrets. There's a fine and mystical line between prophesy and prognosis, and the even bigger consolation prize I've taken away from Luetzelschwab's informative writings is a closer understanding of songwriter Joni Mitchell's wonderful composition, 'Both Sides, Now' -- 'It's cloud illusions I recall, I really don't know clouds, at all.' I was there for Cycle 19. It was mystical and magical, and I have every hope that I'll experience a like ionospheric folly before I send my final SK. Who knows, maybe this cycle will have another peak, and we'll hear non-stop, worldwide 10 and 6 meter activity. In the meantime, it's fun to try and outguess Solar Mojo. It's a big part of the infectious excitement and thrill of amateur radio."

Lee added later, "Regarding the Sun, we can literally see 'both sides now.' And it just seems like the more we know about it, the less we really know!"

W4KUT must be referring to the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory project, or STEREO (, which does allow us to observe both sides of the Sun, with real time images, too, updated every few minutes.

Bill Tynan, W3XO of Kerrville, Texas (in grid square EM00kd) wrote, "The CME of March 15 apparently caused a major North/South opening on 6 meters. Sunday, March 17 at 2122 UTC, I worked HC5VF. He was S-9 with 50 Watts. I did not hear any Central American stations, so my conclusion is that it was via F2, not multi-hop Es. I rule out TEP as HC is above the magnetic equator.

"Then beginning from 2154 to 2256 UT, I worked LUs 7YA, 9EHF, 1DA, 3EX and 7YS. I also heard but did not work, a CX.

"These could have, of course, been TEP, since they are south of the geomagnetic equator. But, since they followed so closely on the HC, it makes me wonder."

Bill has an interesting bio and description of his current station activities on his page, at

You'll need to log in, but the account is free. His email signature says "700 watts to an 11 element M2 Yagi at 70 feet." I assume that is for 6 meters.

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Sunspot numbers for March 21 through 27 were 60, 54, 56, 45, 56, 41, and 35, with a mean of 49.6. 10.7 cm flux was 106.1, 100.9, 98.2, 96, 92.6, 92.4, and 93, with a mean of 97. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 4, 11, 5, 4, 3, and 14, with a mean of 7.6.

Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 2, 10, 6, 3, 2, and 9, with a mean of 6.1.

Source: The American Radio Relay League

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