March 1992 Forecast -- Flux Range 155 - 200

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

It is equinox time. Both the northern and southern hemispheres receive equal amounts of sunlight. Neither hemisphere is afflicted with seasonally low MUFs, and neither has a problem with early band closings on winter nights. There is world-wide propagation on several bands. A similar situation occurs at the autumn equinox, and many propagation forecasters treat spring and fall conditions as if they were identical. This is not quite true. Ten Meters seems to be at its best in the fall, and 15 peaks in the spring. Unscientific DX hogs need no explanation of this phenomenon, and routinely check all bands anyway.

As I write this, 10 Meters is still in excellent condition. We are nearing the end of its season, and can expect a rapid deterioration over the next two months. The daytime MUFs begin their seasonal decline right after the equinox, but don't seriously effect 15 until June.

20 Meters opened up for all night propagation back in February, but night-time MUF's continue to rise until summer. This causes a steady improvement in after-dark propagation on 15. We are starting to get some nice evening propagation, and in late spring 15 stays open most of the night. For the next several months, make 15 Meters a regular part of your tuning routine during the evening hours. There will be plenty of activity, especially over the pole.

40 and 80 are still good. 40 Meter propagation will continue through the summer, but most of the activity along nighttime paths will move to higher bands. The primary night path band will be 20, which should be consistently reliable thru November.

After sunrise, we get the usual trans-Antarctic long path to VU/4S7, the Middle East and Russia. This is followed by excellent long path to Africa and the Indian Ocean. We can also begin looking for pipeline short path conditions to the west, north and northwest. This includes the most exotic parts of Asia (i.e. S2, XW, 3W, 9M, 9N, 9V, V85, BV, VS6, BY, JT, XX, HS, XU). If you need any of these, be on 20 in the morning regularly through the summer. Most will be active. Also look for long path to the Antarctic (via the north). This path is especially good in the spring. Morning openings on 20 consistently provide the richest variety of exotic DX opportunities.

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