Moving into August, we are still dragging through the dog days of summer. Due to the sun-baked ionosphere, daytime DX paths have been poor on all bands in spite of the sunspots. 20 is excellent from late afternoon til about 2 hours after sunrise. Many rare countries come up between midnight and morning from the Pacific and Asia. They can ragchew each other while the unruly mob of American lids is in bed. 40 is still good - better than 15 anyway, and the sunrise peak will still get you into Asia. Not much else is happening right now, but there is much to look forward to.
Autumn: With less sunlight over the pole, higher MUF's should return around mid-August. We have had pipeline conditions to the Far East for the past few months because that is where the morning grey line leads. This is swinging back over the pole, so we will be hearing more from south and central Asia. 15 will improve dramatically during September, but the big news this fall will be TEN METERS. Everyone will be there and it will be wall- to-wall DX on phone and CW. 10 meter conditions will peak during October and November, and will be very good into December. This should keep you busy, but 15 through 40 will also be good.
Long Path: On 20 we still have our morning pipeline to Africa and the Indian Ocean, but other paths are about to open. The afternoon path to Australia will be back soon, and we won't lose the morning Africa until late fall. Antarctic paths will also return - in the morning to India, the Middle East, Russia and Europe; then in late afternoon to the Far East and Indonesia. There will be times when both long and short paths are open at once, especially to Europe. This is usually the case when LP opens on 15. Signals are difficult to copy, but here is a tip that will save wear and tear on your rotator: If the signal off the back of your beam is strong enough to QRM the one off the front from the same station, then you are pointing the WRONG WAY. Find one long path station and identify others by the echo. They will all sound the same.