March 1991 Forecast -- Flux Range 194 - 277

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

It is spring, and the return of daylight to the polar north brings a rapid improvement in propagation into Asia on 10, 15 and 20. These conditions will not last long on 10 Meters, since declining daytime MUFs become a factor around the time of the equinox. The 10 meter DX season is almost over, and we will see a steady deterioration on this band for the next two months. Activity on the low bands is also on the decline, but good nighttime propagation will continue on 40 in spite of the lower activity.

20 is in fine shape. During the spring we can expect excellent conditions via short path to the remotest reaches of southern Asia both at sunrise and sunset. In the summer this becomes a pipeline to the orient in the morning, and to the middle east in the evening. In the evening, however, most of the calls on 20 will be from the USSR. Tune carefully to pick out the more exotic DX, including Africa. All nighttime paths are wide open now, with propagation peaks to daylight areas within an hour or two of the grey line. Long path is also excellent in several directions, including a northerly path in the morning across the Indian Ocean to parts of Antarctica.

Spring, especially late spring, has a spectacular effect on 15 meter propagation. This has already begun, with openings over the pole after dark. Access to Asia will become almost constant during both day and night, as 15 will remain open later and later with the increase in MUFs. Watch for VK9NS this spring, who is expected in Bangladesh during March and in Bhutan in May. Both these operations should be easily workable on both 15 and 20 -the seasonal timing is perfect. Openings to Europe will increasingly extend into the afternoon, and when the MUF's get high enough a nighttime path will also open in that direction. There are many other unusual paths (including long path) that seasonally open on 15 in spring. More of these will be discussed next month.

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