August 1995 Forecast -- Flux Range 70 - 82

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Conditions in August are very much like they are in July. 20 Meters is still the most productive DX band, with good conditions in the morning and into the night. 15, to the extent it opens at all nowadays, gives us out best shot at Europe in the afternoon. Since we are dealing with an ionosphere that has been thinned by exposure to the sun, the high bands are slow to open and slow to close. This delays the peak time for most paths by several hours.

The days are starting to get shorter, and the amount of daylight the polar ionosphere gets is approaching something more optimum. By late September it will be equinox time, and many changes will occur. For now, it's best to enjoy the long haul propagation conditions on 20. For the rest of the year, we will see progressively earlier band closings. This will narrow the DX windows and make the long haul paths more difficult. We are near the sunspot minimum, and reliable nightpath conditions on 20 occur only in the late spring and summer.

The path to Asia is still open for several hours in the morning, with stations in BV, 9V, VS, 9M, V8, HS, HL, YB & DU routinely workable. There are many other countries in that part of the world that are especially exotic. This is also our window to VU4 if it becomes active.

Europe and Africa are good in the afternoon, with polar paths opening up later in the evening. The Middle East is workable starting in the late afternoon, with propagation conditions peaking in the evening. East / West paths are easy, with the Pacific coming through in both the morning and evening.

15 Meters doesn't look very promising, but 17 should be in excellent shape. The best openings to Europe will be in the afternoon, with Asia in the evening. 40 is noisy, but is open nicely on good nights when there is less QRN. There isn't much activity at this time of the year. With lengthening nights, conditions will steadily improve. When 20 starts closing early, DX activity in the northern hemisphere will move to the low bands. This transition will begin during September.

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