March 1990 Forecast -- Flux Range 144 - 247

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Equinox time is here again, and this means we will have some nice openings deep into Asia. There are rumors of an expedition to a very rare country in a part of the world that is often hard to reach: Bangladesh. If this operation shows, we can expect good propagation windows on two bands: 15 & 20. Look for a 20 long path opening around sunset and short path at sunrise. On 15, this remote part of the world should be workable for much of the day, especially from morning to noon.

10 Meters: This band will only be good for another month or so. The most active DX paths (Europe and Japan) will gradually drop out as the MUF along these paths dips below 28 MHz. Signals will get weaker and the activity will move to 15 & 20. Solar flux numbers have been lower lately, and the sunspot cycle may have peaked. Enjoy 10 Meters now, because it won't last.

15 Meters: 15 will improve, as it will now remain open in the evening. Since the daytime paths won't deteriorate until midsummer, many DX windows will stay open longer. This is especially true of the polar paths. Tune carefully around mid-day for exotic Asian stuff. Around this time of the year the band still closes early at the northern latitudes, so signals skip over Siberia to points further south.

20 Meters: This band is open all night again, and prime time evening hours bring us a sunrise peak sweeping over Russia. Springtime is the peak season for working the USSR, even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. Long path is still good, and an interesting path to watch for at this time of year is the northerly path to the Indian Ocean coast of Antarctica (e.g. 4K1F).

40 Meters: Activity on 40 peaked during winter and is moving to higher frequencies, even though propagation will remain excellent. 40 should not be left out of your tuning routine, even during the summer. The less activity there is on a band, the less time it takes to check it.

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