August 1992 Forecast -- Flux Range 93 - 156

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

The doldrums of mid-summer DX are still with us, as seasonally low MUFs continue to limit the usefulness of 10 and 15 for daytime DX. This phenomenon diminishes during August, so we can expect improved conditions on 15 by end of month. It will take an additional month for good propagation to return to 10 Meters. This fall's season will be more sensitive to variations in solar flux than in recent years. Many have gotten used to 10 being open, because the flux was consistently high enough to open most paths anytime the band was in season.

Most DX activity in August will still be on 20. The nighttime paths are very reliable, but there are also DX opportunities during the day. The band is loaded with Russians during the evening, with european openings in late afternoon and late evening. For the first few hours after sunrise, we get a greyline pipeline into the exotic parts of Asia. Long path propagation is a daily occurrence, but many of the most popular paths are out of season. These include the morning antarctic paths to India, Russia, the Middle East and Europe; and the afternoon paths to VK and Asia. Summer is the peak season for morning long path to the Indian Ocean and the southern part of Africa. There is also a path across Asia to rare countries in the south Indian Ocean (FT, ZS8, Heard). The northerly long path to Antarctica seems to peak at either equinox.

Summer QRN is an annoyance on 40 Meters, but signals are good and DX is very workable. There is little reason to spend time on 80, but during contests it is always possible to work Europe and Asia in mid-summer. Major expeditions also make an effort to work all bands, and will often announce their 80 (or 160) meter operating times if you listen to them on 40.

Look for the return of 15 Meters as a reliable DX band by the end of August. This fall, 15 will be the primary daypath band during periods when the flux is too low to open 10. Good nightpath propagation should not be expected, since this occurs primarily in late spring.

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