February 1991 Forecast -- Flux Range 174 - 320

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Days are getting longer now, and MUF's are back on the increase. Also, there was a spectacular resurgence in solar flux in late January to about 350. This brought us an early return to allnight openings on 20 Meters, and an abrupt end to the good European signals we've been hearing on 80. 40 is still very good. I offer no projection of future solar activity in view of the recent rise in fluxes, and leave this topic to the many propagationists who specialize in watching the flux go up and down. Compared to the seasonal variations in propagation, I find this activity rather boring.

20 will again be reliable for night path work until next fall, with evening pipelines to areas on the other side of the world where the sun has recently risen. Polar openings will be very good, and the next few months would be ideal for any of the backup Afghanistan operations to show. The recent operation occurred at a time of year when opportunities to work North America were limited to short windows on only a couple bands. Experienced DX'ers know to watch these windows carefully when stalking a desperately needed new one, assuming that the expedition will daily exploit these limited opportunities to fill the demand in remote parts of the world. The YA operators missed almost all the 20 meter windows to North America, just as they did from Spratly. It seems they concentrated on 10 & 15 Meters, where the windows were almost non-existent except from the east coast. These countries remain in great demand here.

10 Meters will remain good for only another month, and will then deteriorate rapidly during March and April. It will not be as good as in the fall. 15 will gradually improve throughout the spring, with improved access to remote Asian countries. The peak season for 15 is still a few months away. 20 long path is excellent, peaking 1 to 2 hours after sunrise. Low band season is not over yet, and 40 will be very good. If fluxes remain high, 80 will not be much good, but opportunities to work many countries will occur during contests.

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