15 Meters: We are now past the worst of the daytime summer doldrums and 15 Meters is still in great shape. This is a surprise to this writer, who has been expecting much more deterioration from the peak season of late spring. Nighttime paths are still very good, with nice openings around midday to places where it is late evening, like Asia. August is usually better than July, so we can expect more of the same on 15 Meters. Later in the fall, the band will be closing at night, but daytime paths will improve. The attention of active DX'ers, however, will shift to another band: 10 METERS!
10 Meters: Remember last fall? The wall to wall DX? Openings to Europe all morning and half the afternoon? Rare DX in the new novice band? All this will return soon. The band will improve gradually during August and rapidly during September. It will then remain good through March. Be ready for the heavy action.
20 Meters: Until 10 gets going strong, 20 will be the band with most of the rare DX. Even after 10 returns, 20 will be loaded with rare DX. This is the nature of 20 Meters. It is open to all parts of the world on a regular basis. 10 Meters, at its best, opens to all parts of the world, but windows to some remote areas (like southern Asia and the Indian Ocean) are narrow. They are even more difficult later in the fall. On 20, the whole world is workable every day and all year when sunspots are high. Propagation is across nighttime paths, with reliable long path every morning and late afternoon.
LOW BANDS: DX is very workable on 40, but the heavy action is on the higher bands. There will be lots of activity on 40 later in the fall and winter. The 80 meter season will be poor this year. At the low end of the sunspot cycle DX signals are much stronger. Enjoy the high bands now. 5 band DXCC can wait.