June 1994 Forecast -- Flux Range 68 - 88

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

During the WPX CW contest in 1992, the solar flux dipped below 100 for the first time during this cycle decline. This year, during the same contest, it dipped below 70. It doesn't get any lower, but we are not really at the bottom of the cycle yet. At the true bottom of the cycle, the flux stays in this bottom area nearly all the time. In May, we had days when the flux was in the 90's. This opened 15 (marginally) to many parts of the world. Even so, it is apparent that we will see the last of these openings during the remainder of '94.

Even in the best of times, June is a month of deterioration for 15 Meters. May is the peak of it's season and July is the worst. June is the month where daytime MUFs really plummet. This year, we don't have enough solar activity to open the band anyway, so things are looking dismal. We can probably write 15 off until the end of August, then hope for marginal openings in the fall.

With QRN static crashes taking over the low bands and depressed summer MUFs taking out the high bands, DX activity is always focused on the mid-range of frequencies during the summer. This is primarily 20 Meters. Many night paths are open, but others are closed. At the top of the cycle, most night paths are open all the time for most of the year.

This is still the peak of the season for 20 Meter night path work. During the WPX (I spent the whole contest on 20), conditions weren't bad until the geo-storm hit Saturday afternoon. Europe opened in late afternoon for us, and was also open for most of the morning (until noon). The polar openings were in the early evening and early morning. Japan opened for their sunrise, but the best opening was after midnight across the evening path (i.e. over time zones where it is evening). Mid morning is the best time for S.E. Asia. There was also some east/west long path at the usual times. All this was with very low solar fluxes. This pattern will set the DX agenda through this summer, and for the late-spring/summer season through the bottom of the cycle.

Propagation is excellent on 30 Meter night paths, though there is also more QRN. 17 should continue to open to many parts of the world, though often marginally.

The disturbed solar conditions that shut down DX paths for much of March and April were back during May, but not as severe. DX was workable for most of the month. They will also be a factor during the first half of June, but the bands should be worth checking out. The Sporadic-E season is opening up 10 & 6 nearly every evening for stateside SSB fun.

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