September 1991 Forecast -- Flux Range 164 - 201

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Another fine DX season is before us: Autumn. Summertime propagation is boring. The high bands are afflicted with a weakened ionosphere, so there is little DX across daytime paths. Static levels on low bands keep DX'ers off 80 and 40, though propagation on 40 is actually pretty good. Most activity is concentrated on 20, and only for night path DX. This is currently changing very fast.

10 Meters will come roaring back over the coming month, though this might be the last good year for this band in the current sunspot cycle. The 10 meter season will last until March, with the peak of activity and propagation occurring during October and November (aka contest season). All parts of the world will be workable, but 10 meter openings over the pole into Asia are usually difficult. These opportunities are at their best for only a couple months, particularly during October. Polar sigs are easy to identify by their echo, and the narrow windows open around sunrise and sunset. They are greyline paths. Seize the day!

Polar openings on 15 are of longer duration, and occur at other times of the year anyway. In late spring and summer, 15 becomes a night path band. The transition to a day path configuration is nearly complete, and from here on signal strengths will improve. Propagation patterns will be very similar to those on 10. Long path openings were very good during August, while daytime short paths were still effected by the sunbaked ionosphere.

20 will remain a nighttime band for now, and long path across Antarctic regions will be in season until next spring. Equinox time brings the best low band opportunities to work countries in the southern hemisphere. 40, 80 & 160 are at their best in the Winter, but then it is summer down south. There really isn't much South American activity on 80 or 160 CW, but the time to work it is in the fall.

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