January is the month which brings the lowest temperatures here in the northern hemisphere, and also the lowest MUF's. The high solar fluxes (over 200!) help a lot on the daytime paths. Both 10 and 15 open promptly at first light, but shut down soon after dark. 20 meter activity in the evening is down sharply, but some openings remain - mostly to points in the southern hemisphere. The nighttime situation on 20 should bounce back quickly during February, with broader openings on 10, 15 & 20 as we move into spring.
HIGH BANDS: Morning Europeans are easily workable for several hours on Ten, but the darkness over the pole effectively blocks the path to most of Russia and Asia. Openings on 15 are slightly broader because MUFs are above 21 MHz over a wider area and at higher latitudes. 20 remains open all night almost everywhere south of the Tropic of Cancer, opening paths to many exotic DX locations. The time to take advantage of this starts in mid afternoon with a pipeline eastward to Africa, and long path to VK and the western Pacific. Toward sunset the opening swings south to the Antarctic with long path to Asia.
LOW BANDS: If you like CW, 40 is the place to be in the evening. Lots of nice countries can be found calling CQ. The pileups build rapidly as the news hits east coast repeaters, bringing countless lids on frequency to make things impossible for everyone. 40 fone is always a mess because of the foreign broadcasts. SSB DX ops might have some luck on 80, but the sunspots are really working against us this year. Europeans have been very weak here, and little can be heard without a beverage. Sunrise sweeps across Europe after midnight now, so conditions peak while most are asleep. At our sunrise we get a nice grey line path to Scandinavia and Russia on 40. With a beam you can work long path on 40 along the morning and evening grey lines.