We have had some fine conditions on 15. Paths have been open to all parts of Asia during the day, with excellent openings into the late evening. These conditions are seasonal and we have enjoyed them through the sunspot peak, but how now? For the first time in several years, the solar flux has dipped below 100. This occurred during the WPX CW contest. 15 Meter paths to Europe and Japan were marginal throughout the event, mostly because of the lower MUF's. Morning daypath propagation to Europe shifted to a lower frequency, and 20 Meters was found in excellent shape.
At this stage in the solar cycle we can usually expect fluxes to range between 100 and 150. Flux swings effect our HF bands more dramatically here than at higher levels. 15 will be less reliable, and fall conditions on 10 this year will remind many Novice & Tech DX'ers why they should work on their code and upgrade. We still have plenty of good propagation left on 10 and 15, and when fluxes are low, a corresponding DX path can be found on a lower frequency band.
Seasonally the daytime MUFs have been declining sharply, and begin to effect 15 during June as the spring DX season comes off its peak. Long haul 15 Meter daypath deterioration will be a noticeable factor by end of month (Field Day). With fluxes at the higher end of our range good daypath conditions are still possible, but the late afternoon and evening paths will be better. There are no reliable daypath bands in July, because summer MUFs are at their lowest.
Most of the nightpath stuff is on 20, but 40 is also pretty good. After sunrise (on 20) we get our usual summer pipeline to the Pacific and far east, with long path to Africa and the Indian Ocean. LP to VU and EU is out of season, and is especially difficult when fluxes are low. Watch for especially good short path instead, with morning high latitude paths broadly open from the NW to NE.