The tables have turned. After several days of fantastic activity on the Pacific side with generally non-existent conditions on the Atlantic side, trans-Atlantic comes roaring back, resulting in numerous reports with European stations. But what changed? According to the Space Weather Prediction Center, the geomagnetic field is extremely quiet and stable as is the Bz component, registering at zero or slightly above. This has generally been the case for the previous two sessions, both of which saw very strong Pacific conditions but almost non-existent trans-Atlantic activity. Auroral activity, as shown on the Ovation reporting site, indicates little difference from previous sessions. Also curious was a report from Neil, W0YSE/7 / WG2XSV, indicating that HF also seemed very dead. Others in my local area made similar comments about last night’s HF propagation. Sunspot numbers are very low but these conditions are abnormal.
The Kyoto DST shows extremely stable, almost flat conditions through the session.
Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, has compared propagation on 630-meters to 160-meters on many occasions where the terrestrial weather plays a huge role in how his signal is heard around the world from KH6. In fact, this morning in the ON4KST chat/logger, Merv indicated that a frontal system just passed through his area and both HF and MF appear to be dead. Perhaps stratospheric turbulence is stirring up neutral gas molecules at higher altitudes that might be impacting propagation. It seems weather plays a much bigger role than only how its noise effects our ability to hear.
Daytime propagation was very good. In fact, Joseph, NU6O (pending WI2XBQ), indicates very strong signals from the Pacific Northwest stations through the pre-dark session. Here in Texas, activity was descent, with reports of WH2XXP and reports from WG2XJM, both on the skywave path and WG2XXM on groundwave. If we had to get a signal out, we could get it done.
This session was characterized by very high activity once again, with 69 stations reported on MF WSPR at 0200z, in addition to very early trans-Atlantic reports, in particular a G8HUH report by WD2XSH/17 at 2214z, as observed by Mike, WA3TTS. Mike also indicates a very early report of Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, at -20 db S/N at 0120z. Similarly, John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, reports that the two-way high-latitude transcontinental path to the Pacific Northwest was open with John receiving his first report from Steve, KK7UV / WH2XNV.
The regional and continental breakdown follows:
There were no trans-African reports from Michel, FR5ZX, on Reunion Island, although he was present through his overnight period. There were no active stations in the Atlantic or South America through the session.
In the Caribbean, Eden, ZF1EJ, was present with WH2XGP as his most distant report.
The trans-Atlantic path was active with reports from both sides of the Atlantic:
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, saw a significant reduction in stations heard with no stations reporting his signal through the session.
Similarly Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR, saw a significant reduction in his reports, with no JA activity and only a single report of Phil, VK3ELV, in Victoria. What’s interesting about that report was that it was not at the detection limit, instead at -22 db S/N. While I don’t know what transmit cycle Phil was using, it appears that QSB may have been very rapid to have caused his signal to disappear within the span of a few minutes, not to return again. UPDATE: John, VK2XGJ, provided a late screen shot indicating 9 reports for Merv through this session. The screen shot is appended below.
Additional anecdotes and statistics:
Ken, K5DNL / WG2XXM, reported hearing 11-unique stations through the session.
My CW session was slightly modified to accommodate a holiday schedule, with my CW sked occurring at 1600z this morning. At 1636z, I returned to WSPR2 for the daytime session.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!