For many of us during this session it was “thanks for the memories” as the recent extraordinary propagation and band conditions came to a screeching halt due to a strong geomagnetic storm that significantly increased attenution. It did not end there as a terrestrial weather system here in the central US resulted in an shut down at bedtime. The good news is that these storms should be gone by noon and I can focus on the main problem that is the impact of the G3 storm, which I can’t do anything about so who am I fooling? Stations in the Pacific Northwest are bracing for a major, lightning-rich storm system in that area that may keep stations off the air for a day or two. Winds are reported to be the primary threat.
Solarham is reporting that the current G2-G3 storm was spawned by a long lasting South-pointing Bz although currently the Bz is pointing to the North and solar wind velocities have returned to the low levels, averaging 360 km/s. The current forecast is calling for K-indices of 5 to 6, revised down from the originally reported 7. DST values suggest disturbed conditions:
Some of the biggest news of the session came from Europe and Japan as JA3TVF, located near Osaka, decoded DJ0ABR about 30 minutes before sunrise in Japan. All indication are that this is real and there are additional details being reported on the Japanese language site, http://6212.teacup.com/472khz/bbs . This path is very difficult because of the amount of land between the stations:
The trans-Equatorial path between Japan and Australia was also very good as Phil, VK3ELV, shared two-way reports with JA1PKG and was also decoded by JH1INM, 7L1RLL4, and 7L1RLL_4. I wonder what the possibility is of a JT9 QSO between VK and JA in the near future?
Roger, VK4YB, issued a “code-5” at 1044z, but due to noise in the Pacific Northwest, as CW QSO attempt with VE7SL was waved off for this session. Even so, Roger was in the middle of the action as well, receiving decodes from JA in addition to stations in North America. He reports that half of his evening operating time was spent with the antenna pointed to JA which yielded about 33 decodes. His statistics and some details follow:
“Rx 5*ve7bdq (-23) 15*wi2xbq (-25) 32*wh2xcr (-13)
Tx 3*ve7bdq (-26) 1*ve7sl (-27) 1*wi2xbq (-27) 38*wh2xcr (0) 2*ja1pkg (-26) 18* jh1inm (-17) 1*7l1rll4 (-30) 12*ja3tvf (-19)”
Joe, NU6O / WI2XBQ, experienced a strong session. He reports, “Got spots from VK right up to SR. Still +1 to XCR full daylight outside… with .5W…Gret prop to VK, spots from 5, only heard YB. Poor prop E, nothing E of rockies.”
John, VE7BDQ, shared two-way reports with VK4YB and was decoded by VK2XGJ:
Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, reported disturbed conditions, decoding five WSPR stations and being decoded by 33 unique stations. At sunset Doug indicated that QRN was up slightly and S/N reports were down by several dB from the same time the previous session.
Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, reports being heard only in the West which may have had much to do with the G3 storm as it did with the terrestrial storm QRN. A number of stations reported this behavior in the West:
I was QRT after 0340z due to approaching storms but the early evening seemed ok. Noise levels steadily increased, making receiving difficult although switching to the receive loop and orienting to the East allowed a few more receive decodes before shutting down. There was no CW session this morning due to the terrestrial storms but I hope to be back on schedule tomorrow morning. My abbreviated WSPR transmission reports can be found here and my WSPR reception reports can be found here.
Just prior to 0200z, 85 MF WSPR stations were observed on the WSPRnet activity page. This number was down from previous sessions but with the geomagnetic storm it was not surprising. Even so, there were almost 40 more stations than on 80-meters and 30 more than on 160-meters. N3CMH was observed as a new receiving station during this session. Welcome aboard.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no reports from the trans-African path.
Eden, ZF1EJ, heard a few stations through the “ionic fog”, most notably WG2XKA in Vermont and very near the edge of the auroral zone:
Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, reports that he was not transmitting through this session as it may have proved futile under the current geomagnetic conditions. He was successful, however, in decoding WH2XCR and WI2XBQ:
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, shared two-way reports with JA1PKG, VK3ELV, and VK4YB during this session. He was decoded by numerous other VK and JA stations in addition to several North American stations. The path to VK does not show any signs of weakening and the number of decodes at stations like VK2XGJ is astonishing. It may not be unreasonable to think that the band will remain open to and from VK well into their Summer. Time will tell:
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page or directly to KB5NJD gmail dot (com).